Ian Rush believes pressure will 'crank up' on Rafa Benitez if Everton lose to Liverpool 1 month ago

Ian Rush believes pressure will 'crank up' on Rafa Benitez if Everton lose to Liverpool

"Rafa is fully aware of what he's got himself in to."

Liverpool legend Ian Rush believes the pressure will 'crank up' on Rafael Benitez if Everton lose to the Reds in Wednesday's Merseyside derby.

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The Toffees welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park having failed to win in their last seven matches, with fans showing their frustration by shouting abuse at the players at the end of the match against Brentford at the weekend.

Despite the disappointing result at the Brentford Community Stadium, Benitez has urged supporters to back the out-of-form Blues in the derby.

However, while Reds legend Rush insists that the Spaniard is fully aware of the 'ruthless' industry he is in, but has backed the under-fire manager to improve the Toffees' fortunes, regardless of the result against Jurgen Klopp's side.

"If Liverpool win and win well, Rafa will no doubt feel a bit of heat from the Toffees support and the press, but that's football and he'll be ready for that," Rush told Gambling.com.

"We've seen it recently with Steve Bruce and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing their jobs – it's a ruthless industry – but Rafa is fully aware of what he's got himself in to.

"There's already pressure because they haven't won in seven league games and that run will be even harder to stomach if they lose to their local rivals on Wednesday.

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"But I think people should be looking at the long term rather than the short term and I have no doubts Rafa will turn things around at Everton whatever happens in the derby.

"The Liverpool game is a big chance to make an impression, but if they don't get a result there are other big games coming up and they'll surely start winning."

Benitez - who won four trophies with Liverpool, including the Champions League - has registered just five wins in his first 15 matches in the Everton hot-seat.

Although Rush admitted that he was 'surprised' by Benitez's 'brave' decision to join Everton given his history with the Reds, he urged the Toffees hierarchy to give the 61-year-old time to succeed.

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He added: "When Rafa went to Everton I have to say I was a bit surprised, but I think he just wanted to get back into football and the Everton job came up.

"He lives in the area, so it made a lot of sense in some ways, but it was a brave decision by him.

"He knows the people of Liverpool, he loves the city and is very connected with the locals and I think that's part of what attracted him to Everton where he's desperate to succeed and give their supporters something to shout about.

"He has confidence in his own ability and so do I, it's a good appointment and I think it will work out given time.

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"I know Rafa personally and I genuinely want him to succeed at Everton, but I just hope things only start to go his way after the Liverpool game because I want them to get all three points.

"It's not an easy job but he's prepared to get Everton back where they belong and I wish him the best of luck – after the Liverpool game of course."

Everton secured a 2-0 victory against their Merseyside rivals when the two sides last faced each other, with goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurðsson ensuring victory for the Blues.

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