Everton caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson says he will demand the players “run themselves into the ground”.
Rafa Benitez spent less than seven months in charge at Goodison Park and lost his job following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Norwich, a ninth defeat in 12 Premier League games.
The Toffees now sit just six points above the relegation zone, with former Liverpool boss Benitez paying the price for the poor run of form and Ferguson taking charge for the club’s “upcoming games”, starting with Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa.
“The players have always worked hard but I am pushing them as hard as I possibly can, then they will feel great coming off the training pitch, as we all do when we put in a good day’s work,” Ferguson told evertontv.
“They are upbeat sessions, with hard work and clear and simple messages. I am getting among the players and telling a few home truths because the past has not been good enough.
“But it is in the past. We move forwards, the game is coming and let’s get ready for it. They [Everton players] should give everything. They should run themselves into the ground.
“They should roll up their sleeves and fight for the club in every single game. Imagine if you asked a fan to put a shirt on and get on the pitch, what would they do? Well they need to do that.
“I have confidence in the players and the team and think they can win every game and that will be no different on Saturday. We have a lot of great players in there and they will step up, I am sure.”