(Reuters) – Everton boss Marco Silva has described Saturday’s Premier League clash against West Ham United as a must-win game in their quest to climb out of the relegation zone and said the pressure can extract the best out of his players.
The Merseyside club are 18th in the league with seven points from eight games and another loss will turn up the heat on Silva, but the Portuguese manager said the home game against eighth-placed West Ham could be a turning point.
“We believe it will be. When I used those words it was first because for us as a club all matches must be must-win matches. That is the mentality we are trying to create,” Silva told a news conference on Friday.
“And I use that because it has to be a turning point for us, because we have all the conditions to do that, full confidence in our players to be able to play in our stadium… it’s a good start to the match, thinking of it like a must-win.”
Despite significant investment in players in recent seasons, Everton have struggled to compete for a top-six spot to secure European football.
They have lost five league games this season, including the last four.
Silva, who was appointed manager in May 2018 with the task of delivering Everton’s first trophy since the FA Cup in 1995, said his players must learn to embrace the pressure.
“Pressure as professionals has to be a privilege… because it means we are doing what we really love, that we are working in a club which is demanding,” the 42-year-old said.
“The table isn’t good. Our last results are not good enough. We have to react and the pressure has to be good. Embracing the moment is the reality. We can perform better, we can win.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)