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Benitez On Team News And Gbamin Return

Manager sets out aims for south coast trip and provides an early team news update.

Rafa Benitez has challenged his Everton team to ensure they head into the international break with positive momentum by taking maximum points from Saturday’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Blues boss also explained how Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s availability represents a significant boost for the squad – and says the Ivorian will take confidence from his accomplished performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 Carabao Cup success at Huddersfield Town. 

Benitez has enjoyed an impressive start to his Everton tenure, with the Blues following up an opening-day Premier League win over Southampton with a thrilling 2-2 draw at Leeds United.

The Spaniard then praised his team’s “character and determination” to see off Huddersfield despite playing the final third of the match with 10 men.

WATCH EVERTON WOMEN IN ACTION AT GOODISON - CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW

Everton will now lock horns with an in-form Brighton side who have won their opening two league matches this term – but Benitez says his team will approach the game intent on achieving victory.

Speaking exclusively to evertontv, he said: “I don’t want to say we have the momentum yet… But if we win the next one, maybe, yes.

“[Before the Huddersfield game] Demarai Gray was actually talking about that. 

“He was desperate to play in the match because of the momentum.

“I think the team has this belief, this way to approach the games – knowing that if we play well, we can score goals and win matches.”


Midfielder Gbamin made his first Everton start in 738 days in Tuesday’s cup victory.

The 25-year-old’s power, positional intelligence and ability to carry the ball forward at speed caught the eye as he completed the full game at John Smith’s Stadium.

Benitez believes Gbamin can be an important figure for Everton this season.

“To compete and play 90 minutes in the way he was working, I think it is good for him, for his confidence for his future, and for us,” he added

“He is giving us another option in the middle of the pitch and more competition, so I think it is good news for everyone.”

Rafa Benitez
The fans look for character, commitment, desire and passion. They can see these things in the games we have played.


With regular skipper Seamus Coleman named among the substitutes at Huddersfield, Benitez handed centre-back Mason Holgate the captain’s armband.

The game represented the second occasion Holgate has led out the Blues – he was given the honour for the first time in a Premier League clash with Leeds in November 2020.

Benitez explained: “I wanted to give Mason some confidence because he didn’t play one of the games [in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leeds], to be sure he feels he is part of the group.

“We want to create this mentality of, ‘We have to compete for our positions’. 

“We have to compete in every game and then we will be stronger and stronger.”


Everton received sustained and passionate vocal backing from the 2,364 travelling fans in Tuesday’s cup tie.

Benitez insists Evertonians have a key part to play in the Club’s success and says the team must strive to continue performing in a fashion that makes the supporters proud.

“I have been in Liverpool for so many years and I know what the Scousers are looking for,” he added.

“They look for character, commitment, desire and passion – and they can see these things in the games we have played this season. 

“They are the basics you need. If we have this character and improve a little bit in some parts of the game, I think we will be better.”

Speaking after the Huddersfield contest, the Everton manager also provided an update on Alex Iwobi's fitness after the Nigerian – who scored the opening goal of the match – appeared in some discomfort in the final stages of the game.

"He was feeling a little bit tight in his abductor," Benitez said.

"We have to assess him but the main thing is, you can see he was limping, but he was still working very hard.

"I think he did a great job and was showing his commitment."

WATCH EVERTON WOMEN IN ACTION AT GOODISON - CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW

04:58
LATEST NEWS

Benitez On Team News And Gbamin Return

Rafa Benitez has challenged his Everton team to ensure they head into the international break with positive momentum by taking maximum points from Saturday’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Blues boss also explained how Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s availability represents a significant boost for the squad – and says the Ivorian will take confidence from his accomplished performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 Carabao Cup success at Huddersfield Town. 

Benitez has enjoyed an impressive start to his Everton tenure, with the Blues following up an opening-day Premier League win over Southampton with a thrilling 2-2 draw at Leeds United.

The Spaniard then praised his team’s “character and determination” to see off Huddersfield despite playing the final third of the match with 10 men.

WATCH EVERTON WOMEN IN ACTION AT GOODISON - CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW

Everton will now lock horns with an in-form Brighton side who have won their opening two league matches this term – but Benitez says his team will approach the game intent on achieving victory.

Speaking exclusively to evertontv, he said: “I don’t want to say we have the momentum yet… But if we win the next one, maybe, yes.

“[Before the Huddersfield game] Demarai Gray was actually talking about that. 

“He was desperate to play in the match because of the momentum.

“I think the team has this belief, this way to approach the games – knowing that if we play well, we can score goals and win matches.”


Midfielder Gbamin made his first Everton start in 738 days in Tuesday’s cup victory.

The 25-year-old’s power, positional intelligence and ability to carry the ball forward at speed caught the eye as he completed the full game at John Smith’s Stadium.

Benitez believes Gbamin can be an important figure for Everton this season.

“To compete and play 90 minutes in the way he was working, I think it is good for him, for his confidence for his future, and for us,” he added

“He is giving us another option in the middle of the pitch and more competition, so I think it is good news for everyone.”

Rafa Benitez
The fans look for character, commitment, desire and passion. They can see these things in the games we have played.


With regular skipper Seamus Coleman named among the substitutes at Huddersfield, Benitez handed centre-back Mason Holgate the captain’s armband.

The game represented the second occasion Holgate has led out the Blues – he was given the honour for the first time in a Premier League clash with Leeds in November 2020.

Benitez explained: “I wanted to give Mason some confidence because he didn’t play one of the games [in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leeds], to be sure he feels he is part of the group.

“We want to create this mentality of, ‘We have to compete for our positions’. 

“We have to compete in every game and then we will be stronger and stronger.”


Everton received sustained and passionate vocal backing from the 2,364 travelling fans in Tuesday’s cup tie.

Benitez insists Evertonians have a key part to play in the Club’s success and says the team must strive to continue performing in a fashion that makes the supporters proud.

“I have been in Liverpool for so many years and I know what the Scousers are looking for,” he added.

“They look for character, commitment, desire and passion – and they can see these things in the games we have played this season. 

“They are the basics you need. If we have this character and improve a little bit in some parts of the game, I think we will be better.”

Speaking after the Huddersfield contest, the Everton manager also provided an update on Alex Iwobi's fitness after the Nigerian – who scored the opening goal of the match – appeared in some discomfort in the final stages of the game.

"He was feeling a little bit tight in his abductor," Benitez said.

"We have to assess him but the main thing is, you can see he was limping, but he was still working very hard.

"I think he did a great job and was showing his commitment."

WATCH EVERTON WOMEN IN ACTION AT GOODISON - CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW