Benitez reveals how Everton man he wanted to replace is changing his mind
Rafael Benitez has praised the attitude of Fabian Delph after admitting Everton thought about replacing him in the summer.
Delph had a couple of opportunities to kickstart his season just before the November international break. As Everton deal with a range of injuries, he is someone they may have to call upon again this weekend.
Everton face Delph’s former club Manchester City at 2pm on Sunday. Ahead of the game, his manager Benitez revealed how he has been won over by the 31-year-old recently.
“He has the right mentality, the right attitude,” Benitez told a press conference. “I have to stop him in the training sessions because he’s pushing very hard.
“What I saw from him at the beginning, I think he knows we were thinking about replacing him. But he’s trained really well, we’ve had to wait for 10 weeks for him to be available.
“He’s showed commitment, intensity and he’s quite vocal. He has the experience of winning something and the mentality to help the young players.”
It is not just in midfield where Everton are encountering injury issues. In that territory, Benitez will be without Andre Gomes and Abdoulaye Doucoure at the weekend.
In addition, defender Yerry Mina and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin are both also out.
Providing updates on their respective returns, Benitez said: “Each is different. They are getting better. You have to be sure they are fine.
“Doucoure is a metatarsal, so the bone has to heal. One week, two weeks maximum he will be fine. Dominic, three weeks.”
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Benitez addresses Everton fortunes
Everton will be aiming to turn their form around after a disappointing spell that has raised questions of summer appointment Benitez.
Champions Man City are not the ideal opponent for them to get back up and running against. Nevertheless, Benitez has seen some positive signs and insists the mood in the squad is reasonable.
“The squad is fine,” he maintained. “The training session has been quite intense so everyone is quite positive.
“Our last game against Tottenham, the team showed character and the right mentality. This is what we have to show in every game.”
On the prospect of making changes, though, Benitez admitted he is somewhat restricted but won’t rule anything out.
“At the end of the day, you have a squad and you can’t invent anything,” he reminded.
“Against Tottenham we changed a little bit. If we have to change against Man City we will do it.”
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Source: All The News – TEAMtalk
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