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EPL: Benitez focused on doing his job as pressure mounts

Everton manager Rafa Benitez conceded his future at the club may not be in his hands after watching his side lose 2-1 at struggling Norwich City on Saturday.

A ninth defeat in 12 Premier League games piled more pressure on the former Liverpool manager with visiting fans at Carrow Road venting their anger.

Defeat left Everton in 15th place on 19 points, their worst haul after 19 games for more than a decade.

“I have enough experience and I came here to fix issues that, maybe, are coming from five years ago,” said Benitez who was a controversial choice as Everton boss in the close season.

“I have to make sure I analyse these kinds of mistakes we are making and avoid that for the future.

“Other things are not in my hands. I have to do my job.”

A shambolic first half meant Everton trailed to a Michael Keane own goal and an effort by Norwich’s Adam Idah.

Richarlison did reply after the break with an overhead effort but Everton were unable to salvage a point as Norwich ended a run of six consecutive league defeats without scoring to move off the bottom of the table.

Everton fans unfurled banners calling for Benitez to go and chanted against the Spaniard and the club’s board.

One fan even ran onto the pitch in the first half apparently trying to confront Benitez.

“It is really disappointing because we came here thinking about the win and it is a long journey for the fans who have come to support us,” he said. “Everyone came here expecting us to win and we couldn’t.

“We conceded two goals through our own mistakes and that makes it a mountain to climb for us.”

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For Norwich it was a welcome victory and one that offers a glimmer of hope that they could still beat the drop.

Their third league win of the season moved them to 18th place and just a point behind Watford who they face next.

“We had to break that cycle. It’s not nice being on a losing run and not scoring goals and have people pointing the finger at us,” said Smith, who replaced Daniel Farke in November.

“I hope everybody, certainly our fans, can go home today a little bit more pleased and see a little bit more light at the end of the tunnel. We certainly got them behind us today and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

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