Ferguson urges Everton players to use Chelsea victory as template
Caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson rediscovered in an instant Everton’s identity but the challenge going forward is for him – and the new boss when he is appointed – to find a way of retaining it.
Goodison Park was back to its hostile, raucous best for long periods during the 3-1 victory over Chelsea which lifted the club out of the relegation zone at the first time of asking following the sacking of Marco Silva.
Former Toffees striker Ferguson was the antithesis of the Portuguese, whose 18-month reign was ended on Thursday after a woeful 5-2 defeat in the Merseyside derby at Anfield, on the touchline.
He was demonstrative, emotional, enthusiastic, every goal was accompanied by a charge down the touchline and at the final whistle he embraced any fan within arms reach.
But it was what transpired on the pitch, with players finding a new lease of life and an aggressive streak to boot, which raised the roof at Goodison.
“I think it was a free hit because the fans wanted a bit of Everton identity in that way,” said Ferguson.
“We worked off the ball, we played direct balls, used the channels well and played off the strikers.
“I thought Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) was a colossus and I thought we pressed aggressively well.
“It is the template: hard work, pride, passion, bleed for the club. They should do it anyway.
“This is their life, this club, and the position we are in the league is not good enough.”
On the role he played on the touchline, the Scot said: “I think they (fans) want managers to be passionate. That’s the big thing: body language, getting the fans onside.
“It was the one game and no-one can ever take it away from me can they? But the players were unbelievable and it is their day.”
From the moment Richarlison headed home Djibril Sidibe’s fifth minute in a manner the caretaker boss would have been proud of Everton held the initiative.
Chelsea played well in spells but over-complicated when they reached the penalty area and it was no surprise when Calvert-Lewin doubled the lead shortly after the interval, capitalising on misjudgements by Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen it was no more than they deserved.
Mateo Kovacic’s first Premier League goal briefly threatened to spoil the party before Calvert-Lewin forced home in a goalmouth scramble to send fans home happy with a first win in four games.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knew they had caught Everton at the precisely wrong time.
“It was definitely an extra dangerous time to play against Everton. They got an extra bounce and they have got some good players,” he said.
A third defeat in four league matches left the former England international looking for answers.
“Work. We had it nice, we were winning games. We went to City (and lost) but the two (defeats) since then are signs of where we need to get better.”