Everton's players have been told by their manager David Moyes that they have to take more responsibility for their own performances.
Moyes demands passion
LIVERPOOL // Everton's players have been told by their manager David Moyes that they have to take more responsibility for their own performances ahead of today's 212th Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Wednesday's 3-2 defeat at Hull - the Toffees' sixth in a run of 10 matches which has seen them win just once - left Moyes fuming at the lack of commitment. "I think a few home truths have been told," he said.
"I always protect the players but there are times when the players have to take responsibility," said Moyes. "If you get a chance to play for Everton in a derby you expect to be extra committed, but maybe if you play for Everton you always have to be committed. "Unfortunately, I had to question one or two in midweek. I think there were moments of bad luck in the Hull defeat but you earn your luck by showing a bit of energy.
"I am responsible as I've brought all the players to the club, it is my team, and I'll stand united with them all the time. "But when they cross the line they are the ones who have to take responsibility for their jobs, their decisions and what they do on the field." Moyes's counterpart, Rafa Benitez, sympathises with the distress of Liverpool's fans at the club's plight. Benitez may have Fernando Torres fit for the Goodison Park showdown, with his top scorer facing a fitness test after training today.
With or without the Spanish striker, Benitez knows Liverpool must change their fortunes quickly with Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester City threatening their place in the top four. He said: "You cannot be a fan and be happy when your team are not winning. There are reasons why, but I will not be making any excuses, we will improve. Everyone at this club is disappointed we are not winning. The only way to change things is to work hard."
* PA Sport