Benitez on Covid, Digne and injury problems

  • Published

Grace Eden, BBC Radio Merseyside

Everton boss Rafael Benitez has been speaking to the media before his side take on Chelsea on Thursday.

Here are the key lines:

  • Benitez praised the fans, who have been "amazing from the beginning". "It depends on us on the pitch and those in the stands. We have to give everything," he said, adding that supporters know the problems can't be fixed in a matter of months.

  • On vaccination among players and the impact on fixtures, Benitez said: "We've encouraged the players to get it - at the end, it depends on them."

  • On playing Chelsea, he said: "If you have players injured, you have to adapt. We have to manage in a different way. Hopefully we can be successful."

  • Benitez was asked whether it was time to "kiss and make up" with defender Lucas Digne after their argument. "I couldn't agree more," said the Spaniard. "He's an important player for us. Yesterday, he trained - today he said he's ill and not available tomorrow."

  • On injuries to Andros Townsend, Seamus Coleman and Richarlison - who may be hurt "because of overload" - Benitez said he recognises that, as soon as key men are unavailable, "we have problems".

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