Benitez says living in Liverpool is helping him win over Everton fans

‘I know what scousers want’: Rafa Benitez says experience living in Liverpool is helping him win over Everton fanbase as Toffees continue their good start to the season with comfortable win at Brighton

  • Everton continued their good start to the season with a 2-0 win over Brighton
  • Toffees fans were unconvinced over his appointment due to his Liverpool past
  • Benitez says his time living in Liverpool has helped win Everton fans over   

Rafael Benitez says his experience of residing in the city of Liverpool is helping him unexpectedly win over the Everton fanbase.

The majority of Toffees fans were unconvinced by his appointment – due to his past connections with Liverpool – with some even hanging banners saying ‘Don’t sign Rafa, we know where you live’.

But after Everton convincingly beat Brighton to make it two wins and a draw to start the season, Benitez said he loves the city and ‘knows what scousers want’ from their football team.

Rafael Benitez has made a good start at Everton and the ex-Liverpool boss is winning fans over

‘From the beginning, the reception has actually been great,’ he said. 

‘Anyone can say whatever on Twitter but the reality is that I know what scousers want from their team. 

‘Everton fans know I love the city of Liverpool, my team and I have been there many years and know how to make these people happy. Now the fans are enjoying how we are playing.

Goals from Demarai Garay and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a 2-0 victory for Everton

‘We have had difficult games, we have come back from behind in the first game to win and then we pushed Leeds last week and could have won but had a great performance.

‘In this game, we had more control and we are showing an evolution of what we are trying to do. We can only get better.’

Summer signing Demarai Gray shone again and opened the scoring – to go with his goal at Leeds last Saturday. 

When asked about Gray, Benitez said: ‘Demarai has always needed to be more consistent but he is doing well, he has the quality to make the difference.

‘I am telling him so many times, ‘you have done nothing yet, you have to continue to train well and then you can make an impact on games’.’

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin had a row over who should have taken the penalty for Everton

Benitez was also quick to brush off questions on the future of Richarlison, who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain should Kylian Mbappe join Real Madrid.

‘I don’t think speculation around Richarlison’s future has impacted him,’ said Benitez on a player who looked irritated at the Amex, having a row with Dominic Calvert-Lewin over penalty duty and later being booked.

‘Don’t forget this player has played the Copa America, then the Olympics, had no holiday and then came back and played so well.’

Brighton boss Graham Potter said: ‘Everton were a step up in quality (from the other two games) but also we didn’t play our best football.

‘We’ve got a lot of players and numbers coming back from injury. We’re looking at the window and will try to make the best decisions for us.’

Everton are unbeaten after their first three games of the season with two wins and a draw

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