MX23RW : Saturday, September 21 05:42:33| >> :600:19305339:19305339:
Feb 9, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,333
Watford
1-0
Everton
Gray (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Zouma (95')

Silva stands up for his time at Watford after he is jeered on losing return

Silva stands up for his time at Watford after he is jeered on losing return
© Reuters
Everton boss is on a losing run.

Everton manager Marco Silva insisted he was not fazed by the hostile reception afforded to him on his return to Vicarage Road.

Watford supporters goaded Silva, and chanted "you're getting sacked in the morning", after Andre Gray's second-half strike secured all three points for the Hornets, and piled more pressure on the Portuguese by condemning Everton to their third straight league defeat.

Troy Deeney stoked up the antagonism ahead of Saturday's grudge match after he urged the home fans to ignore Silva, who was sacked by Watford 13 months ago amid suggestions he was engineering a move to Everton, and allow the players to "kick the s*** out of them".

The Vicarage Road fans, however, taunted Silva throughout, and were jubilant when Gray broke the deadlock after he tapped home midway through the second half.

Silva claimed afterwards that Deeney's comments were part of a plan concocted by Watford to destabilise his Everton players.

"For me, [the reception] is not important," said Silva.

"I cannot control everything.

"What I can control is my team and try to control the opposing team.

"The club had one strategy and they created a strategy for something to happen on the pitch.

"I was welcomed here by the people I worked with for many, many months because they know the truth and nothing more. The strategy they prepared is not important.

"What I can control is my job, and with my conscience I did my job well when I was working for that club."

Everton have now lost nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions, and their bleak league form since the start of December is only better than Huddersfield and Fulham.

Their miserable afternoon took another sorry twist after the final whistle when Kurt Zouma was sent off for complaining to referee Lee Probert.

Zouma was unhappy that Watford were awarded a corner in the build-up to Gray's winner.

"I will try to speak with the referee," added Silva.

"Sometimes it is not easy to be calm, and in that moment, the referee has to understand because many, many mistakes are going against our team.

"What Kurt said to the referee is what all the other players were saying in that moment. He is speaking about the corner. It wasn't a corner. If they can see that, how is it possible that the referee and the assistant couldn't see it? It is really strange."

The win moved Watford four points clear of Everton in eighth, having played one game less.

And boss Javi Gracia admitted he was surprised by the reaction from the home fans, who chanted his name at the full-time whistle.

"That is not usual," he said with a smile.

"I am very grateful, but for me the most important thing is to see that people around me are happy.

"I am really happy to get the three points, and after seeing our supporters enjoy the game, is something that is amazing for us."

Asked if he had any sympathy for Silva, the Spaniard added: "I don't know him very well. In all the games, I want to win."

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Everton manager Marco Silva watches on against Manchester City in the Premier League on February 6, 2019
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