By George Overhill

12th Jan, 2022 | 9:50pm

Troy Townsend says atmosphere around Everton currently is 'toxic'

Troy Townsend has commented on the atmosphere among the Everton crowd in the FA Cup Third Round tie at Hull City as being “toxic”.

Speaking on the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast he responded to a question about son Andros’ winning goal by saying that while he loves the Everton fans, he is concerned about how the crowd reaction affects the team.

The Toffees were taken to extra time by the Championship side before the England attacker scored from outside the area, and fans dissatisfaction with manager Rafael Benitez was evident.

“I just don’t think it’s a good environment for players to be playing in knowing… they’re going to get criticised in the manner that they did,” said the Kick It Out Head of Development.

“Some of it is really, really toxic.”

Tough crowd

Benitez is no stranger to a hostile reception from his own side’s fans as he was the subject of similar treatment during his caretaker spell in charge of Chelsea.

He was able to tough things out on that occasion and finished the season winning the Europa League but there were times when things looked bleak.

Following Carlo Ancelotti’s surprise return to Real Madrid in the summer, the Spaniard’s arrival was greeted with a negative response, not least due to his well known history at Liverpool.

Although things started surprisingly well the team is now struggling and, with no credit in the bank on the Blue side of Merseyside, the manager has reached the point where both sets of fans were chanting “you’re getting sacked in the morning” at the MKM Stadium.

Townsend is probably right to suggest that such an atmosphere will not translate into a positive force on the pitch, and he is understandably more in that mind set as the father of one of the players.

But at the same time fans are entitled to express their dissatisfaction up to a point and in many cases they are willing to contribute to things getting worse before they get better if it sees an unpopular manager depart.

In other Everton news, this PL transfer target will reportedly cost his “significant release clause”.