Since first making the bench against Lazio in early November, Dragusin has only missed out on a place in Pirlo’s matchday squad on four occasions, and made his debut as a 69th-minute substitute against Dynamo Kiev in December’s Champions League clash.
Heading into a month which includes fixtures against Arsenal, on Monday, Chelsea and Leicester plus a trip to Burnley – and with main striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin unlikely to return from a thigh injury for at least another fortnight – things could get worse before they get better.
During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, goalscorer Gray said: “To concede so early wasn’t helpful but we responded well. It’s FA Cup football and I’m sure everyone watching enjoyed it but, for us, it was important to get the win.
Benitez, the former Liverpool boss, wants the opportunity to take on the task of reviving fortunes at Goodison Park. He has become the leading candidate after another round of discussions with Farhad Moshiri, the major shareholder.
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