Tuesday 20 March 2018

Williams wary of Everton thinking they are safe from relegation

The Toffees have gone six matches without a win in all competitions.

Everton defender Ashley Williams admits they cannot afford to think they are safe (Peter Byrne/PA).
Everton defender Ashley Williams admits they cannot afford to think they are safe (Peter Byrne/PA).

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Defender Ashley Williams admits Everton cannot afford to think they are safe this season having already flirted with relegation.

After an encouraging run of 12 points from a possible 18 when Sam Allardyce took over from Ronald Koeman with the club near the foot of the table the Toffees have now gone six matches without a victory in all competitions.

Three points from the last six matches have not quite dropped them back into the dogfight at the bottom but Williams accepts it is a possibility if they do not turn around their form.

“It’s not good. The gaffer said he wanted a result to stop the losing streak (of four matches) so we did that but it’s not good reading,” he said after the 1-1 draw with struggling West Brom.

“We need to win games and when teams are below us in the league, especially at home, they are the type of games you want to win.

“If you don’t perform for periods of the season you’re going to find yourself down there.

“Obviously with the results we have been getting we have started to slip the other way that you don’t want to be going.

“I’m not sure if we are in a relegation battle or not but I don’t think you’re ever really out of it unless you are one of the top few teams.

“We have got to get back on track because we have to get back on track and perform better, get results, get clean sheets, win games and you will be alright if you do that.”

Saturday’s result was marred by James McCarthy’s double fracture of his right leg in a clash with Salomon Rondon which will require surgery and keep the midfielder out until well into next season.

The 27-year-old has been plagued by injuries in recent months and Saturday was only his fifth appearance of the season.

His injury is similar to the one sustained by his Everton and Republic of Ireland team-mate Seamus Coleman, who has only just returned to fitness after his broken leg in the World Cup qualifier against Wales last March.

Williams was also on the pitch that day and he admits he had feelings of deja vu.

“We are gutted more than I could tell you. It is really bad,” he added.

“It wasn’t nice when it happened. I’ve been there with Seamus and other players.

“You have to try to get on with it and continue with the job which is difficult when you see your mate in such a bad state.

“It was the same with the Wales-Ireland game. I don’t think anyone cared after what happened to Seamus, us or them.

“It becomes a little bit secondary as much as it shouldn’t. We should get on with it as we are professionals but we are human beings also.

“Once that happens it is difficult to pick yourself up after that to be honest. It is incomprehensible, especially to him with his recent history. It’s a tough one.”

Press Association

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