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Benitez Reacts To Florida Cup Win

Everton manager on new signings and pre-season friendly positives.

Here's what Rafa Benitez told evertontv after the Blues' Florida Cup victory over Colombian side Millonarios in Orlando on Sunday.

The contest finished 1-1 after Demarai Gray levelled from the penalty spot in the second half on his friendly debut. And more spot-kicks were to come as Everton triumphed 10-9 in the shootout.

Benitez on the penalty shootout win over Millonarios…

Pre-season friendlies are about improving the fitness of the players, getting to know each other a little bit better. The players have a new manager so there are new ideas and I think they did well tonight.

In the first half we had more problems because they were doing well and we didn’t play the way that we wanted. In the second half there was more energy, the organisation was good and the understanding between the players was good even though there was new players. I’m really pleased overall with the performance of the team.

On penalty hero Asmir Begovic…

He’s a keeper with experience. We were looking for this kind of competition for Jordan Pickford so it’s important to have someone with this kind of performance to rival Jordan. It’s positive for him and it’s positive for us.


On Andros Townsend…

He’s someone who I know from my time at Newcastle. He’s a player with quality. I was checking his fitness stats, too, and he was one of the best players in the Premier League in terms of work-rate. We have a player who can give us something more because he has the desire and he’s in a position that the team needed. I think he can do well for us.

Leadership shown on the pitch by Townsend…

It’s another thing we are trying to find - and it’s not easy. Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership, this characteristics on the fifth floor of... John Lewis, I will say here - in Spain it’s another shop!

It’s true - you try to find these players, you try to create these characteristics and spirit inside. It’s one step in the right direction at the moment and it’s too early but you can see the reaction of the team in the second half, which was quite positive.


On goalscorer Demarai Gray…

He’s a player who I followed for a while. He’s a talented player and he needs to be consistent - he knows that. Playing behind the striker is a position I liked to see if he was capable of, like he did, to be fair.

I’m happy for him because it’s a boost always for a player to score goals and to make a contribution for the team. These players need to show this character and consistency - it’s what you need if, at the end of the season, you want be in a better position and a good position.

Performance of younger players in the squad…

Pre-season is about fitness and improving the understanding between player and manager. In this case, the young players have an opportunity to show something in front of the fans, in front of the cameras, so I think it’s great for their experience. Their contributions were quite good so I’m really pleased with them.

Having Evertonians watch his team for the first time…

We haven’t had fans for a while but you can see the fans are desperate to see the team on the pitch, support the team and cheer the team in the stadium. It’s important that if we keep controlling things as much as we can, and then to make sure we have our fans at Goodison Park to help make the difference.

Rafa Benitez
Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership, this characteristics on the fifth floor of... John Lewis, I will say here - in Spain it’s another shop!

 

04:15 Mon 26 Jul 2021
FLORIDA CUP

Benitez Reacts To Florida Cup Win

Here's what Rafa Benitez told evertontv after the Blues' Florida Cup victory over Colombian side Millonarios in Orlando on Sunday.

The contest finished 1-1 after Demarai Gray levelled from the penalty spot in the second half on his friendly debut. And more spot-kicks were to come as Everton triumphed 10-9 in the shootout.

Benitez on the penalty shootout win over Millonarios…

Pre-season friendlies are about improving the fitness of the players, getting to know each other a little bit better. The players have a new manager so there are new ideas and I think they did well tonight.

In the first half we had more problems because they were doing well and we didn’t play the way that we wanted. In the second half there was more energy, the organisation was good and the understanding between the players was good even though there was new players. I’m really pleased overall with the performance of the team.

On penalty hero Asmir Begovic…

He’s a keeper with experience. We were looking for this kind of competition for Jordan Pickford so it’s important to have someone with this kind of performance to rival Jordan. It’s positive for him and it’s positive for us.


On Andros Townsend…

He’s someone who I know from my time at Newcastle. He’s a player with quality. I was checking his fitness stats, too, and he was one of the best players in the Premier League in terms of work-rate. We have a player who can give us something more because he has the desire and he’s in a position that the team needed. I think he can do well for us.

Leadership shown on the pitch by Townsend…

It’s another thing we are trying to find - and it’s not easy. Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership, this characteristics on the fifth floor of... John Lewis, I will say here - in Spain it’s another shop!

It’s true - you try to find these players, you try to create these characteristics and spirit inside. It’s one step in the right direction at the moment and it’s too early but you can see the reaction of the team in the second half, which was quite positive.


On goalscorer Demarai Gray…

He’s a player who I followed for a while. He’s a talented player and he needs to be consistent - he knows that. Playing behind the striker is a position I liked to see if he was capable of, like he did, to be fair.

I’m happy for him because it’s a boost always for a player to score goals and to make a contribution for the team. These players need to show this character and consistency - it’s what you need if, at the end of the season, you want be in a better position and a good position.

Performance of younger players in the squad…

Pre-season is about fitness and improving the understanding between player and manager. In this case, the young players have an opportunity to show something in front of the fans, in front of the cameras, so I think it’s great for their experience. Their contributions were quite good so I’m really pleased with them.

Having Evertonians watch his team for the first time…

We haven’t had fans for a while but you can see the fans are desperate to see the team on the pitch, support the team and cheer the team in the stadium. It’s important that if we keep controlling things as much as we can, and then to make sure we have our fans at Goodison Park to help make the difference.

Rafa Benitez
Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership, this characteristics on the fifth floor of... John Lewis, I will say here - in Spain it’s another shop!