Everton manager Marco Silva insists he didn't feel any pressure heading into the weekend clash with West Ham.
The Portuguese boss has faced criticism for the Toffees poor start to the season, after a summer transfer splurge saw the club fork out around £100m on new signings.
Fortunately for the 42-year-old, Everton were able to haul themselves out of the relegation zone after beating the Hammers 2-0 at Goodison Park, thanks to goals from Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Silva made five changes to the squad beaten by Burnley prior to the international break, bringing in the likes of Bernard, Tom Davies and Theo Walcott - and claimed the key to success was allowing his
“Every day I go home with my conscience really clear because I know I did my best to put my players at the best level I can,” Silva said, as quoted by The Guardian.
“I give my 100% best to Everton every day. Always. My players know that. Why would I be nervous? I am not.
“Everything I have in my life comes from football. I work really hard and I received many good things when I was a young manager. I have my career behind me and in the future as well. Football games are about preparing your players in a good way and to enjoy as well. I was not nervous at all.”
Walcott, who assisted Bernard’s goal in the first half, reiterated the message from his manager, revealing the players had been told to go out and express themselves.
“The manager stressed that he wanted us to play with freedom and he took the pressure off us completely. It was about enjoyment, not worrying about the game.
“Everyone is disappointed when you see us in the bottom three before the game. That is just not us at all. The fans can be disappointed in that but the sense of belief in the team against West Ham, the positive energy coming out of the dressing room, we want more and more of that.
Everton will look to build on this result when they travel to Brighton next weekend, with the pressure seemingly off Silva's shoulders, for now at least.