Ronald Koeman insists his side cannot allow the defeat at Tottenham Hotspur to dent their confidence.
Everton were edged out in a five-goal thriller at White Hart Lane where, despite goals from Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia, the Blues were beaten by Harry Kane’s brace and a late Dele Alli effort.
But Koeman says thoughts must already turn to the next game at home to West Brom. “We brought everything to try and get a good result,” he said. “At 2-1 I was really optimistic about getting one. But the players were a little bit afraid and did not have that ball possession that they have had before.
“At 3-1, we brought it back again but there was no time to make a draw.
“Tottenham are a strong team. Now is the time to keep calm and prepare for the next two home games. That will shape our direction for the end of the season.”
Koeman was left to rue the mistakes that cost Everton dear in north London, as Kane seized upon a defensive error to net his second early in the second half, before Alli benefitted from some quick thinking from Harry Winks to steer his free-kick past Joel Robles unchallenged.
“It was emotional until the last second,” added the Blues boss. “The game was really difficult. We started well and made it hard for Spurs to create open chances, but they have scored from a shot from distance. After that it was more difficult.
“They had further chances to score before half time, and what really disappointed me was how they got their second goal, from a mistake by us.
“At least we showed great character until the end of the game, and tried to get it back at 2-1. We were hoping for a point but their third killed the final result. It was too easy from the free-kick and if you make that kind of mistakes at this level against a team like Spurs then they will punish you.”