Joleon Lescott has backed Everton to avoid Premier League relegation this season despite the club being hit with a 10-point deduction on Friday.

The Toffees have plunged to 19th in the league table as a result and have issued a statement labelling their record-breaking deduction as ‘unjust’ while vowing to appeal the decision.

Everton were punished after posting losses of almost £372m over a three-year period – more than £250m above what the Premier League’s guidelines permit club to lose – and it has left them in the relegation zone. 

However, Lescott – who made 143 appearances for the Merseyside club between 2006 and 2009 – explained that the deduction came at an ‘optimal time’ for Everton and insisted they can be confident despite their daunting position.

Despite being currently placed amongst the bottom three teams in the English top-flight, Everton have won more games than any of their rival teams placed between 14th and 20th in the table and boast a stronger goal difference than most.

Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction by the Premier League for breaching financial rules

Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction by the Premier League for breaching financial rules 

Former Everton defender Joleon Lescott explained the punishment had come at the 'optimal time' for his old club

Former Everton defender Joleon Lescott explained the punishment had come at the ‘optimal time’ for his old club

Sean Dyche‘s side have been left on four points after the immediate deduction and Lescott gave his verdict on the current state of play at his former side. 

‘The swiftness of the decision has surprised me having been speaking to people in the club up until the weekend they were very adamant this wasn’t going to be the outcome,’ Lescott told Channel 4. 

‘I don’t know exactly to what extent something has happened to know if they are hard done by. 

‘But from our perspective it’s an optimal time they receive this. They are winning games regularly, if this had come earlier in the season then from a players perspective if you see a minus next to your points tally then it has a different effect on your morale and confidence. 

Sean Dyche's side are currently in the bottom three of the Premier League standings

Sean Dyche’s side are currently in the bottom three of the Premier League standings

‘I know they are 19th and near relegation but they will be confident they can get out of it,’ he added.

Everton will have their first chance to get fresh points back on the board when they host Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday, November 26.

Victory could see them climb out of the drop zone and above 17th-placed Luton depending on results elsewhere.

Burnley are currently the only team below the Toffees in the English top-flight with Vincent Kompany’s side having lost 10 of their opening 12 matches this season. 

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Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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