LONDON (REUTERS) Portuguese manager Vitor Pereira has said he still wants to take charge of Everton following the sacking of Rafael Benitez, despite a backlash from some supporters over his potential appointment.
The Toffees dismissed the Spaniard, who joined last summer to much fury owing to his past achievements and comments as a former Liverpool boss, earlier this month with the club 15th in the English Premier League.
Pereira is among the favourites to take over, although British media have reported former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who has been out of the game since last January, is also in contention.
But news of the potential appointment of the 53-year-old, who has coached Porto, Olympiakos and Shanghai SIPG, has not gone down well with the fans, who believe it will be an extension of the mediocrity that exists at Everton.
A message that read: "Pereira out, Lampard in" was daubed on a wall at Goodison Park, while fans also held up banners by the club offices.
Pereira on Wednesday (Jan 26) admitted to Sky Sports he was taken aback by the outrage.
"Of course (it hurts)," he said. "In my opinion, some of the critics are not for me. Because 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 work in a lot of countries, several clubs, several titles. Before you work with a person, you cannot judge. This is the first time in my career I've seen these types of things.
"It's the environment now because the club isn't in a good position. The supporters have passion and this passion I think is the power of this club. 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."
Pereira, who was sacked by Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce in December, said he was not worried that the reaction of some Everton fans could influence the club's decision.
"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," he added.
Everton sit just four points above the relegation zone, having earned one win in their last 14 league games. They last went down in 1950-51.