What's going wrong for Marco Silva at Everton?
Everton currently sit in the Premier League drop zone
Last Updated: 16/10/19 2:09pm
While Everton manager Marco Silva has the backing of the club's board, the under-pressure Portuguese faces a critical run of fixtures in December that could decide his future at Goodison Park, Dave Maddock tells the Sunday Supplement.
Despite having spent more than £100m on several new recruits last summer, Everton's recent run of four consecutive Premier League defeats has seen the club drop into the relegation zone.
Maddock, however, says the hierarchy at Everton still believe Silva is the right man for the job.
"It's a problem and the problem is they do not appear to have a direction," the Daily Mirror's northern football correspondent told the Sunday Supplement.
"When things are going well for them, they play good football. Silva has a plan which he has implemented well and they play it well when it is going well.
"But as soon as they go behind and there are any issues, they crumble. Silva himself has said they have not shown enough strength of character, and he even said after one of their recent defeats that too many of his players were hiding on the pitch. And that is fundamental.
The club are saying at the moment that Silva has their backing - they believe he is still in a project which is not a short-term one and it could take three or four years
Dave Maddock, Daily Mirror's northern football correspondent
"The club are saying at the moment that Silva has their backing - they believe he is still in a project which is not a short-term one and it could take three or four years.
"They did not get all the players they wanted in the summer. They needed a center-half and did not get it, they needed another goalscorer and did not get it. They came close to getting both, but eventually did not."
Did you know?
Everton have conceded 45 goals from set plays under Marco Silva
With Everton currently languishing in 18th place in the table, Saturday's home clash with West Ham suddenly takes on huge significance for Silva.
However, the club need to get some results, and quickly, with a nightmare set of fixtures to come over Christmas that may ultimately decide the Everton manager's fate, says Maddock.
"So they understand they are light, but the problem is they have a fixture list from hell in December where they play Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, Leicester, Chelsea and then they play Man City in early January," he said.
"That is a run where you could only get three or four points, so they need to be winning between now and then. And they have some very big games coming up.
"So the fact they are backing him now, if they lose the next few games they will be in real trouble and they may not have any choice [but to sack him]."