February 20, 2024

Andy Gray has joked that he may have less sympathy for Nottingham Forest after Ivan Toney’s controversial goal, depending on whether Everton survive relegation or not.

Forest and the Toffees have both been hit hard by Profit and Sustainability breaches, with both being threatened with further punishment, on top of Everton’s 10-point deduction.

Toney, who returned from his eight-month ban on Saturday, was seen moving the ball from the intended free-kick marker, slotting his first goal of the season around Forest’s wall for Brentford.

Gray had some sympathy for the defending team but admitted that could change depending on Everton’s outcome this season, speaking on beIN Sports via X: “The simple fact of the matter is that if the Forest players had been paying attention, they would have noticed him moving the ball.

“They would have shuffled across to their proper position, where they should have been. And had they done that, he [Toney] wouldn’t have been able to do what he did.

When asked by Richard Keys whether he has any sympathy for Forest at all, he caused a barrel of laughs, replying: “A little, yes. But it depends if Everton go down or not.”

Every little counts

With so much riding on this current season, every minute event could impact Everton’s season in some way or other, which is an incredibly scary thought.

 

The outcome of the Toffees’ campaign is still very much in their own hands, even if they are deducted more points following the most recent news of punishment. They proved this after the initial 10-point deduction, going on a four-match winning streak against Forest, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Burnley.

However, points have been a little harder to come by in recent fixtures, losing out to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Wolves in consecutive games before a stalemate against Aston Villa.

Everton are still outside the relegation zone but are separated by just a single point. After an up-turn in form, Luton Town are scratching at the escape hatch and could replace Everton in the bid for survival.

Sean Dyche has worked miracles before, though. He will know that his squad are more than capable of surviving whatever punishment is thrown their way. But that challenge is becoming harder and harder by the day.

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