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Marco Silva relishing going into battle with former club Watford

Everton take on the Hornets on Monday night.

Marco Silva relishing going into battle with former club Watford

Everton boss Marco Silva says he is looking forward to facing his former employers Watford.

Monday’s Premier League clash at Goodison Park will see Silva go up against the Hornets for the first time since they sacked him in January.

He said: “It is not the first time in my life and for sure it will not be the last.

“I look forward to the match, a tough match for sure, and it will be good to see some of the players who worked with me, some good friends as well I have in the club.”

Silva took charge at Watford in the summer of 2017 and they lost only one of their first eight league games under him.

When they axed the Portuguese following a run of one win in 11 matches, they said Everton’s “unwarranted approach” for him earlier in the season was the “catalyst” for their decision.

Silva had been a target for Everton after their October sacking of Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman’s eventual successor was Sam Allardyce, who Silva then replaced in May.

Watford made an official complaint to the Premier League, with it alleged Everton had made an “illegal” approach, and in September it was understood the league had asked a law firm to launch an inquiry into the matter.

Silva was asked what kind of reaction he expected from Watford fans given how things ended for him at the club, and if he had any regrets about that.

He replied: “It is not important to talk about these type of situations.

“What I expect about the atmosphere in the stadium is the same as I saw yesterday (when Everton drew 1-1 with Newcastle) – this is the most important thing for me. Our fans came yesterday to really support our team.”

Ahead of Monday’s contest, Everton and Watford – managed by Silva’s replacement Javi Gracia – are sixth and 11th in the table respectively.

Silva’s side are two places higher than Manchester United, on the same amount of points.

On Tuesday, United boss Jose Mourinho said he thought Everton would not finish the season above the Red Devils.

And Silva said on Thursday: “It is his prediction, nothing more. He knows what is his obligation, and what is the obligation?

“Top six. He knows, and let’s see at the end of the season if his prediction is right or not.”

Everton scored just once against Newcastle despite registering 19 shots, and they had netted only one goal across the three matches before that – a 0-0 draw at Chelsea, 1-0 win over Cardiff and 1-0 loss at Liverpool.

In response to whether Everton need to bring in a striker in January, Silva said: “I understand your question, but how many clubs are trying to find one striker to score more than 20 goals, or 25 goals, or 30 goals?

“I think it’s a question at the moment for all the managers in the Premier League.

“I am happy with the players we have. Of course we are doing our homework. We know what we want to do as well.

“My job is to work with the players we have at the moment, to develop them and develop our squad.”

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