Marco Silva said he has not spent “one minute” thinking about speculation regarding his future at Everton and still feels he has the confidence of the board.
Defeat by Norwich last time out put Silva’s position back under the microscope, with the Toffees down in 16th place ahead of Sunday’s trip to high-flying Leicester.
In a tense but defiant press conference, Silva said: “I don’t waste my focus thinking about this situation.
“My focus is always on my players and what I can control and the next match. I don’t lose one minute thinking about this situation.
“I didn’t read (anything). Of course I had more or less the feedback but not
everything. I try to put all my energy into things that can help me and my
players to perform and to improve what we should improve.”
Director of football Marcel Brands offered his backing to Silva in an interview with Everton TV, saying: “Of course, we know in sport, as always, you have to perform – that’s me, the manager, the players.
“It’s also important, especially in this club, after a couple of years of instability, to stick together in this situation.
“I think it is important that everyone has the feeling that we can turn this around to better results.
“Most people know that I always go to the dressing room after the game, to see how the atmosphere is.
“Of course, everyone was disappointed last Saturday but you saw also really in the eyes of the players the fire that they want to resolve this, to turn this around – together with the whole staff.
“That’s important coming up towards the next couple of games. They will be tough games, but games where we can improve.”
Silva gave a wry smile when asked whether Sunday’s match was crucial regarding his job.
“You are asking me that maybe since the fourth game of the season,” he said. “It’s not new for me. No one has said to me that (an ultimatum). And again, I don’t lose one minute thinking on that.
“It’s important for all of us and first of all myself to understand why we
didn’t achieve the result that could give us that boost.
“It’s normal our board wants to speak with me to feel what is my opinion about
the situation. But, if you ask me if I felt support? If I felt we are united? For
sure. I am feeling since the first day that situation.”
Asked if he had been losing sleep over Everton’s predicament, Silva replied: “Of course I sleep. When you go home with your conscience 100 per cent good, you did your maximum every single day, why would you not sleep?”
The clash with second-placed Leicester begins an extremely tough run of fixtures also taking in matches against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Silva declined to comment when asked whether Everton are in a relegation fight, saying: “It’s not the right moment.
“We cannot see what will happen in five, six, seven games. We didn’t lose nothing yet. We are not in the position we want to be, of course. We are not hiding nothing.
“Nothing is easy. If you start losing focus, wasting energy because will come the game at Anfield, and after the game against Chelsea, and after the game against Man United, you are losing focus for the most important game against Leicester.”
One bit of much-needed good news came with the announcement on Friday that the club are putting the finishing touches on a new deal for forward Richarlison until 2024.
Silva, who also worked with the Brazilian at former club Watford, said: “It was important for Richarlison to come here (because of) myself and everything I did with him in the past and the decision I made to bring him to the Premier League.
“The conversations with him were clear. He’s an important player for us and we believe we can keep improving him as a football player.”
Richarlison has overcome a knock and will be fit for Sunday but Everton are likely to be without Morgan Schneiderlin, Theo Walcott, Fabian Delph and Bernard through injury.