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2021-2022-Season

#PLStories- Rafa Benitez makes set piece claim after more Everton struggles #EVERTONFC

rafael benitez manager

Rafa Benitez claimed that he and his Everton squad were working on set pieces the day before their dismal defeat to Watford. Speaking after the final whistle on Saturday, Benitez revealed that he had been working on set pieces with his players just a day before.

Rafa Benitez said: “Trust me, yesterday [Friday] we were working hard on the set pieces and corners to adjust things. Still you are conceding, so now you need to think about how we can improve and give them the same belief and confidence that they had at the beginning [of the season]. If you have done something, you can repeat it. So it’s just a question of making sure the players believe in themselves.”

This was Everton’s first match without Abdoulaye Doucoure following confirmation of a foot injury for the midfielder. Tom Davies stepped into the Frenchman’s role on Saturday and got off to a great start, scoring the opening goal inside three minutes, before fading as the match went on. Benitez highlighted the performance of the midfielder and fellow academy graduate Anthony Gordon after the game, but admitted he can’t be happy with it.

Rafa Benitez added: “I told him [Davies] that you have to score goals, because Doucoure was scoring goals. He started really well so I was pleased that would be a boost for his confidence. After, we made mistakes as a team. Anthony, we know he’s a good player and a good talent, but he has to have the match fitness in the Premier League. You cannot be happy because one or two players have done well when the team has lost in the manner we have lost. You have to analyse, we must improve.”

The Hornets travelled to Goodison Park on Saturday and picked up a first three points under Claudio Ranieri thanks to a dreadful late collapse from the hosts. The Blues conceded for goals in the space of 13 minutes to eventually be consigned to a 5-2 defeat, their second loss in succession on their home turf. The visitors twice took advantage of Everton’s weakness from set pieces this season to score two goals, a tactic also used by West Ham in their recent win at Goodison.

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