Everton Manager, Marco Silva, has issued a rallying cry to Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi and other players his squad for Saturday’s Premier League encounter with West Ham, urging them to “show their strong character and strong personality”.
Everton host the Hammers on Saturday targeting a return to winning ways on home soil as they seek to climb the Premier League table.
Silva admits his side are in a “tough moment” after a run of four defeats in the league. But he insists he understands the Everton DNA and what is expected and required from his side to turn around a disappointing run of results in order to return to the kind of form which banked his side 28 points from 15 matches before defeat to Bournemouth last month.
“The first thing [for my team] is to give everything,” Silva told evertonfc.com.
“In the tough moments, react and put in more hard work and 100 per cent commitment. We have to be demanding of ourselves every single day.
“When you have tough moments as a football team – and this is a tough moment for us as a club and our fans – we have to do even more and then we will see [results] on the matchday.
“As a team we have to show more, that strong character and personality that will have us playing to our best level again – and achieving what we want in every single match.
“There are more points to win and we have to be really strong to win the next match – then the confidence will come again.
“In the tough moments, you can see the strong character… the strong personality. And how we can be strong as a team.”
Silva admits he and his players share the frustration of fans over the current run of league results but expects Evertonians to play a “key role” in the hunt for victory against West Ham.
Everton were unbeaten in seven at Goodison Park before Sheffield United won at the ground last month.
Indeed, manager Silva’s team did not concede in six straight home games until the 3-2 victory over Wolves on 1 September.
The 12 clean sheets they recorded in total from the start of 2019 to 17 August was second only in that period to the number amassed by Premier League champions Manchester City.
And Silva is pointing his players in the direction of such facts as a means of inspiring a purposeful and courageous performance this weekend.
“It is very easy in football to just look at the past month but you have to look at all the picture because that will give the players the confidence they are missing in important moments,” said Silva.
“They [players] know the confidence I have in all of them and the work we are doing every day.
“Football is our passion, for me it is not just a job, it is my passion as well. I always try to pass this to my players – it has to be a pleasure to play a football match.
“It has to be a happy moment and at the end see the result.”
On how Evertonians can influence their side in this weekend’s meeting with West Ham, Silva added: “They play a key role in every match for us.
“They are not happy with the past month and we share their frustration. But in the next match they will play a key role again.
“In tough periods we need them behind us and passing that confidence and fantastic atmosphere to our players.
“We want to get three points to give them a good feeling again on Saturday.”