Everton star Richarlison feels his form is where it should be and has revealed that the dismissal of Rafael Benitez was tough for all at the club to take.
It has been a challenging campaign for the Toffees and one that could end in relegation. The Merseysiders currently sit 17th in the Premier League table, just three points above the drop zone. Last Thursday’s 1-0 triumph over Newcastle United was a massive result and just their second victory since December 6.
But nine defeats in their last 12 top-flight games means it is still unclear where they will ply their trade next term. Sunday’s 4-0 FA Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Crystal Palace was another dreadful result.
They started brightly but could not find the net, going on to pay the price as they wilted later in the contest. And that has been the story of the season to date.
The Goodison Park outfit have conceded 47 top-flight goals and scored just 29 from 27 matches. Demarai Gray is top-scorer with five while Richarlison has four to his name.
The Brazil international missed a month of action at the turn of the year with a calf injury. He has scored twice since returning to fitness.
But he has not found the net in the league since scoring in defeat to Norwich on January 15. However, after being called up to represent his nation, Richarlison says he is fit and raring to go.
“After my injury, which was a little serious, I came back fine,” he told reporters on Monday, per Globo Esporte. “I come in a good sequence, even with the team not getting the wins. It was because of this good sequence that I returned to the national team.”
Richarlison lifts lid on Benitez exit
Benitez was a controversial choice to succeed Carlo Ancelotti in the Goodison dugout. His previous links to Liverpool made it tough for the Spaniard to win over the fans.
And, after a dreadful run of results, he was sacked on January 16. Frank Lampard’s arrival was welcomed but the jury is still out on whether the former Chelsea chief is the right man.
He has overseen just two league victories since arriving and was in a less than harmonious mood after the FA Cup thrashing. There is still time for Everton to pull clear of danger and Richarlison is confident “the team will evolve”.
The former Watford star insists he is concentrating on improving his own game. But he confessed that the removal of Benitez and winter window did have an impact on the players.
“The coach’s sacking affected the group, we lost three or four important players in the squad, the players who were injured too,” he added. “So that affected the group a lot, but I continued my focus, working hard, that’s why I returned to the Selecao.”