Carlo Ancelotti admitted that Everton knew it would be an uphill struggle after conceding against Leeds United.
Everton slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Leeds at Goodison Park after a goal from Raphinha. It was surprising that there was only one goal in the game, as both teams had numerous chances in an open match.
However, Ancelotti said that once one team took the lead, it was always likely they would see out the victory – which is exactly what Leeds did.
The Everton manager told BBC Sport: “We said before we expected a really open game – and it was. There were chances for both sides.
“We thought the team who scored first would win the game. Our performance was not at the top. We expected this. We are disappointed with the defeat.
“They attack with a lot of players – their full-backs, wingers, midfielders. We could be more efficient in the counter-attack. We didn’t finish well.
“This is a more difficult period. In a difficult period you can see how your players react – see their personality and character.
“I still have confidence. We need more consistency.”
Ancelotti on managing absences
Everton went into the game without a number of key players. Lucas Digne suffered an injury that will put him out for a few months recently, while opposite full-back Seamus Coleman was also out.
That meant Ancelotti had to deploy midfielder Tom Davies and winger Alex Iwobi in unusual wing-back roles as cover.
Ancelotti admits they will have to find ways to cope without key players if they are to get back on track – even if he saw some positives from the match.
He added to Sky Sports: “Tom Davies is in a new position, Iwobi is in a new position. There are important players out in this moment, but we need to manage this. Lucas is out for three months.
“I don’t want to say the game was not good. The game was difficult, but with more efficiency we could have won.
“We’ve had more problems in recent games. We have to be focused in every game. We are in a good position in the table still, but we have to have more consistency at the back.”
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