Vitor Pereira exclusive: Everton managerial candidate on his interview for the job and hitting back at critics

Vitor Pereira speaks exclusively to Sky Sports News about his interviews for the Everton job and why his critics should not judge him; Pereira is understood to be the leading contender to replace Rafael Benitez as Everton manager, but Frank Lampard is also in contention

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In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Vitor Pereira talks about his application for the Everton job, his interview and his previous experience

Everton managerial candidate Vitor Pereira says "it is a time for decisions" as he waits to hear whether he will be handed the role as Rafael Benitez's successor.

Pereira is understood to be the favourite to take over at Goodison Park and, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, the 53-year-old revealed he had received "good feedback" after having talks with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright.

Pereira also offered details of his plan to turn around Everton's fortunes, saying his first task would be to install the "organisation" that has been lacking amid the club's fall to 16th in the Premier League.

"I had a few interviews - not just one," explained Pereira. "More than one interview with different people at the club.

"We discussed everything. I discussed with different people in the club and on the board.

"I gave them my point of view about the club and what I think about the team, because they asked me to come, Moshiri and Bill Kenwright and other people in the club."

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The Transfer Show reacts to Vitor Pereira's exclusive interview with Sky Sports News

Pereira has been a candidate for the Everton manager's job twice before but missed out to Roberto Martinez in 2013 and Marco Silva in 2018.

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But he believes his interviews with Moshiri and his fellow decision-makers this time round went well and that they were enthused by his plans to play "intensive" football while restoring confidence to the side.

"What I felt from the club, I think they were enthusiastic [about] what I proposed to them: an intensive game, a pressing game, a game with possession," Pereira said.

"We need to give confidence again to the players and the team. We need to approach the fantastic supporters to the team again.

"This is what I proposed to them and what I felt in the meetings is that they were very positive with the interviews. The feedback from the interviews was good feedback."

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Pereira, who has managed clubs in six different countries, also discussed his fond memories of watching Everton play at Goodison Park, saying the experience "inspired me".

"I remember the time of [Phil] Jagielka, [Leighton] Baines, [Seamus] Coleman, [Tim] Howard, and I remember Goodison Park as a fortress, and the passion of the supporters.

"This is what appeals [to] me in this club. I think this is a historic club and the challenge for me is to approach the club to the fans, to get again that kind of spirit and fire on the pitch, [like] what I watched a few years ago.

Vitor Pereira's CV

  • Sanjoanense (Portugal), 2004-2005
  • Espinho (Portugal), 2005-2007
  • Santa Clara (Portugal), 2008-2010
  • Porto, 2011-2013 (Won two Portuguese titles and two Portuguese Super Cups)
  • Al Ahli, 2013-2014
  • Olympiakos, 2015 (Won the Greek title and Greek cup)
  • Fenerbahce, 2015-2016
  • 1860 Munich, 2017
  • Shanghai SIPG, 2017-2020 (Won Chinese title and Chinese Super Cup)
  • Fenerbahce, 2021

"I think the first decision as a manager in the club is to bring again the organisation, the way to press, the pressing game, the intensive game that I saw a few years ago in the club and in Goodison Park."

While Pereira is the favourite to become Moshiri's sixth appointment since he took over the club in February 2016, former Chelsea and Derby boss Frank Lampard is also understood to remain under consideration.

"Yes, of course," said Pereira when asked if he still wanted to become Everton manager, but the Portuguese admitted he was aware the club "have other candidates," before adding: "This is a time for decisions."

Frank Lampard
Image: Frank Lampard has been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea in January 2021

'Critics don't know me and my CV'

While Pereira's journey across six different countries has seen him win trophies in Portugal, Greece and China, his potential appointment at Goodison Park has not been well received by all Everton supporters.

The strength of feeling against his possible arrival even saw graffiti reading 'Pereira out, Lampard in' daubed on a wall at the stadium.

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Everton fans have put up banners against the club's board while another wrote a graffiti message after it emerged Vitor Pereira is favourite to take over from Rafael Benitez at Goodison Park

Asked whether that message hurt, Pereira admitted: "Of course. This is the first time in my career I've seen these types of things. I've never had these kind of comments about me. My CV speaks for itself."

Pereira said the challenge for the club's new manager was to harness the "passion" of Everton's supporters, adding: "It's the environment now because the club is not in a good position.

"The supporters have passion and this passion I think is the power of this club. I remember very well when I watched the games of Everton a few years ago, and sometimes the supporters won the game.

"The passion in football can be to the positive side or the negative side. In this moment, what a manager should do is bring again this positive passion for the supporters. I don't take this as a personal attack."

But Pereira urged his critics not to judge him without looking at the eight trophies he has won as a manager, saying: "They don't know me very well. They don't know my work, they don't know me as a person, they don't know my CV.

"I worked in a lot of countries - different clubs, different levels. We got several titles. Before you know the person, you cannot judge.

Rafael Benitez
Image: Rafael Benitez was sacked last week after just over six months in charge at Everton

"But I understand the feeling of the supporters because the last years the club didn't get good results, and it's normal they are not happy.

"But when I came here, I came with passion, with spirit and with the intention to bring again good football."

Vitor Pereira's exclusive interview with Sky Sports News in full

Pereira has managed in several countries
Image: Pereira has managed in several countries

How did you come to be in contention for the Everton job and when did you first hear about it?

"A few years ago, when I finished my work in Porto, I was introduced to Mr Bill Kenwright. Since that time, we have kept a good relationship, and in this moment the club and the board are asking me to come for a meeting. I had a few interviews - not just one. More than one interview with different people at the club. We discussed everything. I discussed with different people in the club and on the board. I gave them my point of view about the club and what I think about the team, because they asked me to come, Moshiri and Bill Kenwright and other people in the club."

What was your pitch to them to try and turn their form around?

"A few years ago, I remember the time of [Phil] Jagielka, [Leighton] Baines, [Seamus] Coleman, [Tim] Howard, and I remember Goodison Park as a fortress, and the passion of the supporters. This is what appeals [to] me in this club. I think this is a historic club and the challenge for me is to approach the club to the fans, to get again that kind of spirit and fire on the pitch, [like] what I watched a few years ago."

Is there any way, in particular, that you think the club should be structured to make them rise up the league table?

"I am not the manager, but I think the first decision as a manager in the club is to bring again the organisation, the way to press, the pressing game, the intensive game that I saw a few years ago in the club and in Goodison Park. For me, to watch a match in Goodison Park was something that inspired me. This is the spirit, to see the passion of the supporters again, to see the intensity, and to make other teams feel that Goodison is a fortress and it's very difficult to play there. This is the spirit and the way to play that I want to bring again to the club."

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How were your ideas received and what kind of vibe did you get about how it went?

"What I felt from the club, I think they were enthusiastic [about] what I proposed to them: an intensive game, a pressing game, a game with possession. We need to give confidence again to the players and the team. We need to approach the fantastic supporters to the team again. This is what I proposed to them and what I felt in the meetings is that they were very positive with the interviews."

What have the club told you and what is the latest state of play?

"They have other candidates. This is a time for decisions."

Have they categorically told you that you are not the man to replace Rafael Benitez?

"No, just to wait the decision and be calm, and that they are grateful for the interviews and that's all."

When was your last conversation with the club and how long are they expecting you to wait?

"What we talked [about] in the interviews is something we keep with us but what I can say to you is that the feedback from the interviews was good feedback."

What about the reaction from fans? What about the reaction from social media?

"They don't know me very well. They don't know my work, they don't know me as a person, they don't know my CV. I worked in a lot of countries - different clubs, different levels. We got several titles. Before you know the person, you cannot judge. But I understand the feeling of the supporters because the last years the club didn't get good results, and it's normal they are not happy. But when I came here, I came with passion, with spirit and with the intention to bring again good football."

Farhad Moshiri wanted Champions League football at Everton

We were just showing some graffiti on a wall at Goodison Park saying, 'Pereira out, Lampard in'. When you see this, does that hurt?

"Of course. This is the first time in my career I've seen these types of things. I've never had these kind of comments about me. My CV speaks for itself. It's the environment now because the club is not in a good position. The supporters have passion and this passion I think is the power of this club. I remember very well when I watched the games of Everton a few years ago, and sometimes the supporters won the game. The passion in football can be to the positive side or the negative side. In this moment, what a manager should do is bring again this positive passion for the supporters. I don't take this as a personal attack."

An Everton fan who might not be in favour of your appointment might say, 'he was sacked by Fenerbahce after five months in charge and he was relegated from the second tier of the Bundesliga with 1860 Munich'. Do they have a point?

"We have eight titles in different countries. It's not easy to get for everybody. Different countries, teaching young players with big experiences. I started my career in Porto, eight years, and it's a club that forms top coaches and players around the world. We cannot have a career with everything positive. Munich was a very difficult situation. You cannot look for negative things - you must look at everything."

Do you feel the negative reaction to your potential appointment may have an effect on the decision-making process?

"This is something that I cannot control. But what I want to tell you is, all of my career, I worked under pressure. I worked in clubs that cannot draw one game."

You're waiting for the club to make a decision. You still want the job, is that right?

"Yes, of course. I don't have doubts. I did my work as a professional and now the decision is the club's decision. I came from a meeting, I did my work and now the decision is not controlled by me."

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If you were to be appointed, how important is it that the appointment comes before the transfer deadline?

"I cannot speak as the manager because I'm not the manager. I can speak about these matters if they decide on me as the manager."

If there were a message you'd like to send to Everton fans, what would that be?

"All my career I build with passion, with organisation, with competence, and this is what I can offer to the club. I give the clubs 100 per cent of me. Football for me is 24 hours thinking about football. This is my life. My passion, my competence and the organisation and the quality that I build in my career, this is what I can offer to the fans. A game with intensity, organisation and offensive spirit."

Would you welcome another conversation with Everton? What would you like to happen next?

"I will move forward with my life, and if they want me, they must call me."

Do you believe that you will be the next Everton manager?

"This is something I cannot control. I'm a professional, I do my work and now I will wait for a decision."

The Premier League is a huge ambition for you, is that fair to say?

"Of course. I'm sure that, now or in the future, I will be in the Premier League."

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