Marco Silva has launched a brutal attack on his players, by accusing them of “hiding.”
And the Everton manager has warned his under-performing squad the moment of truth has arrived with the visit to Sheffield Wednesday, where there can be no hiding place for anyone at the club.
Silva was furious following the weekend home defeat by Sheffield United, where his side again appeared to show a lack of character in blowing the chance to go into the top four.
And the Portuguese coach pulled no punches with a calculated assault to shake his players from their complacency.
Speaking about the lame capitulation against the Blades, he said: “In some moments many players were hiding and didn’t give solutions.
“It is not the moment for anyone to hide.”
Silva insisted he too was showing there can be no hiding any longer, with his frank words, and he insisted it was time for a hard-hitting truth for everyone connected to Everton.
“The moment is like I am here with you, and I said it inside the dressing room too – there is nowhere we can hide, we have to show stronger character and personality,” he warned.
“The Sheffield Wednesday game is really important yes. Now I don’t want anyone hiding, not me, not them. It is a moment for us to go and play football and to take responsibility as well.
“In the second half (against Sheffield United) I didn’t see that ability. Football is about playing, and showing strong character.”
Silva insisted he was addressing himself as much as his players. When asked if he meant he himself would not hide, he replied:
“No, no – no one can hide. No one, I am always here for you, i am always here for our fans, I will not hide, no one can hide.”
And asked what home truths he told his players after the defeat, he indicated he didn’t hold back with the criticism. “They know my opinion, they already know – I told them. But some things will stay in our dressing room.”
Defeat at Hillsborough would put the manager under serious pressure, and he admitted he will be prepared to swing the axe if he believes it will provoke the right response from his team.