By Richard Garnett at Finch Farm
You could forgive Duncan Ferguson for feeling a little nervous when he faced the media as Everton caretaker manager for the first time on Friday afternoon, but if he was, he was quick to make light of it.
The Goodison legend was asked to take care of first team affairs on Thursday evening after Tuesday night’s 5-2 thrashing at the hands of fierce rivals Liverpool proved to be the end of Marco Silva’s stewardship.
Ferguson walked into a near-silent press room and immediately broke the ice.
“Alright lads. Good Afternoon, warm isn’t it? It’s warm in this seat, let me tell you!” he said to the amused media congregation.
It’s hardly surprising if he was feeling the pressure. Everton have lost their last three league matches and currently sit in the relegation zone.
Prior to his sacking, the atmosphere around Marco Silva in Goodison Park had turned toxic. The heat is most certainly on the Toffees to pull together results and performances and move themselves away from the drop zone and into the half of the table that their suffering supporters expect them to be competing.
Who replaces Silva permanently to try and make that happen remains to be seen, but for the time being at least, Ferguson is all too happy to pick up the reins.
He said: “I never hesitated. It’s an incredibly proud moment for me. Everybody knows how I feel about the club. It will be an incredibly proud and emotional moment (tomorrow). Nervous, excited, but looking for a good result.
“It’s not nice when a manager loses his job. We all felt for him. As a club we all supported him (Silva) as much as we could. It’s unfortunate that he’s lost his job but I think the results determine that don’t they. It’s a sad time.”
Ferguson is hero-worshipped at Goodison Park. He confirmed that his two daughters both have season tickets and will be in attendance on Saturday along with his brother-in-law, former snooker world champion John Parrot.
But the Scot was realistic when asked about his managerial prospects and heavily played down his own chances of holding onto the hot seat.
He said: “I’m a coach at the moment so I don’t think I’m really considered at this moment in time. I think the club will find a real top manager to attract to the club.
“Of course, it’s a dream of mine to be the Everton manager but I’m also realistic, so my main focus is to try and get a result tomorrow.
“I’ve been loyal to the club and I’ve love to work with the new manager coming in, but that will be up to him. Who wouldn’t want to be manager of Everton Football Club?”
Ferguson may have avoided a baptism of fire against Liverpool at Anfield but it doesn’t get much easier for the Blues with an impressive young Chelsea side to host instead.
Ask about the progress of Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, he quipped: “He’s doing a very good job isn’t he? Has he got any tips?”
Lampard is unlikely to dish out too much advice to his opposite number tomorrow but Goodison Park galvanised under the leadership of their hero Duncan might be all the motivation that Everton need.