Rafael Benitez has “positive conversations” with Everton owner

Forward Richarlison is one of several Everton players who is currently injured

Everton boss Rafael Benitez says he has had “positive conversations” with the club’s owner amid rising pressure after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.

The Toffees, who visit Chelsea on Thursday, sit 14th in the Premier League after one win in 10 games.

Forward Richarlison has joined Everton’s long injury list, suffering a calf problem at Palace, and left-back Lucas Digne is ill and so also out.

“It’s a difficult time and we have to stick together,” Benitez said.

The Spaniard added that he talks to Everton owner Farhad Moshiri “nearly every day”.

“We are not just talking about the present, we are also concerned about that because we want to win, but we are just thinking about the future,” Benitez said.

“When I came here, it came with idea to be three years plus something with a new stadium.

“Experience shows that sometimes you have difficult times but still you have to keep doing your job the best way that you can, and then you know that one game can change everything.”

Injury-hit Everton need ‘stronger squad’ in January

Richarlison is out for a “number of weeks” because of a calf injury, while Digne was set to start against Chelsea but pulled out on Wednesday because of an illness.

Against Crystal Palace, Andros Townsend fractured his foot and captain Seamus Coleman sustained bone bruising and soft tissue damage.

England international Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been out since August with a thigh problem and Benitez is also without midfielder Tom Davies (knee) and defender Yerry Mina.

Unsurprisingly, the manager wants to use the January transfer window to make sure his “squad is stronger” when faced with so many injuries.

“We have to be ready and for the future too,” Benitez said.

“The conversations [with Moshiri] are quite positive and more constructive about what we want to do and what we are doing now.”

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