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Coach Rafael Benitez I will fight for Everton; I will try to do my best every single game
Coach Rafael Benitez says success will win over fans who criticised his appointment in Everton
. Benitez, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti after the Italian returned to Real Madrid last month, is the first manager since the 1800s to cross the Merseyside football divide.
The Spaniard was also criticised by some Chelsea fans after being appointed in 2012 before going on to win a Europa League title with the club.
The former Liverpool manager, 61, previously called the Toffees a “small club” after a draw in the Merseyside derby in 2007.
The rivalry between the two clubs led to a threatening banner being left near his Merseyside home.
“It was a long time ago,” Benitez replied to a question about his “small club” comment.
“If you are the manager, you have to defend your club in any context.
“In this case, I will fight for Everton, I will try to do my best every single game, and I will try to compete against anyone.
“I know how the team finished last year, and we will try to be sure that we can do better.
“We can talk the talk, but I prefer to walk the walk and hopefully everyone will be happy, starting with me. If I am happy, the fans will be very happy too.”
He managed Liverpool from 2004-2010 and takes over an Everton team which faded last season to finish 10th in the Premier League.
Benitez said that the banner had done nothing to put him off taking the job