Everton defender Alan Stubbs has turned up the heat on Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez ahead of next week's Merseyside derby.

After being written off by Benitez as a "small club", Stubbs is suitably motivated for the occasion.

"Of course the derby means as much to Liverpool as it does to Everton," said the centre-half, who knows any repeat of last season's big Goodison win will heap pressure on Benitez, whose rotation policy is under the microscope after a worrying run of only two wins in seven games.

"If it doesn't, they have a big old problem. If you're not really that bothered about winning against your local rivals, maybe you should be looking at yourself.

"We don't see ourselves as a small club, not at all. If they feel they are that much bigger than us, they should have been getting better results. Like winning the League. When you spend that much money, £40-50 million, you would expect to be closer than they have been. That's what Liverpool fans would say if you asked them. We beat them 3-0 - and you don't get a result like that by luck."