Rafael Benítez calls for improvement across the board at Everton

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Rafael Benítez has said he wants improvement from every department at Everton because the club should “be in a much better position” with the money they have spent.

Everton this week appointed Cristian Fernández as first-team rehabilitation fitness coach after a review of the medical department instigated by Benítez. The manager, who worked with Fernández at Newcastle, is concerned by the number of repeat injuries among the squad. Yerry Mina is the latest player to join an extensive absentee list, with a hamstring problem, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to remain sidelined for another four to five weeks with a quadriceps injury.

Benítez started an analysis of all departments on his appointment in June and has demanded wholesale improvement to reflect Farhad Moshiri’s lavish investment.

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“I have a lot of confidence in my staff but if we have to do something then we will do it,” he said. “One thing I want to be very clear is that I am trying to improve every single department. The fans, the club, the owners who have spent a lot of money, they are desperate to be competitive.

“I said in one press conference that eighth [place] means nothing to me and I really mean that. I don’t want to stay here and try to survive. I want to be sure I can improve anything with my experience, my view and my staff.”

Benítez’s demand includes recruitment. “The main thing will be the players,” he said. “I am not stupid. It depends on the players what we do on the pitch. I want to be sure every player understands what it means to play for this club and go on the pitch in front of the fans and give everything. They are doing that and I think the fans appreciate the effort of the players. But it has to be the same in each department.

“When you see the money spent the club has to be in a much better position. You have to compete against all the teams and it is not straight away that you start winning games and doing everything right. I will be the first to make mistakes, but I have experience and I want to win. How can we win? By improving 5%-10% in each department.”

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