Ashley Williams: Everton must show fight against Arsenal
Ashley Williams has vowed struggling Everton will take the fight to Arsenal, despite being at the heart of the ugly incident which led to a UEFA charge and a life ban for one fan.
Williams shoved Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes into the advertising hoardings during Thursday's Europa League defeat, leading to an angry tussle involving players from both teams and at least one supporter, who has subsequently been identified and banned.
UEFA has initiated a disciplinary case against the Toffees for "aggression by supporters against players'' and Merseyside Police have opened their own investigation.
Watford's Troy Deeney last week accused Arsenal of lacking "cajones'' and Williams suggested Everton would wage a full-blooded contest at Goodison Park, regardless of the midweek controversy.
"Troy said what he had to say about Arsenal, but I am not too concerned about their fight, so long as we fight that is the minimum we have to do at the minute,'' said the Welshman.
"We have been showing fight. The majority of the time you have to give the fans something to go off and if you don't they let you know the other way. I have not been here that long but it seems all they want is to see the team fight and battling for everything.
"The crowd were fully behind us and that is the kind of thing we have to show them, show ourselves and show everyone really. The fight is the base and if you play well after that, perfect.''
Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is badly in need of a win at the weekend, with the club winless and bottom of their group in Europe and uncomfortably close to the Premier League relegation zone.
Williams scored the winning goal in the same fixture last season, a game which came after a run of one win in 11 games early in Koeman's reign, and is eyeing a morale-boosting repeat.
"It felt a little bit similar when we played Arsenal at home last year and that was kind of a turning point,'' he said. "It would be nice if you could happen again.
"We all like [Koeman] and I know myself we really want to try for him. When it gets like this the manager is the one who puts his head out there, he is one under pressure, as we all are as players, and we want to deliver good performances and results.
"Sometimes you try that little bit extra for him and for everyone. It is difficult for him at the minute. He is sticking to what he knows and he keeps trying to do the right thing. We will keep working as hard as we can for him and it goes without saying that the players are fully behind him.''