Muhamed Besic says Everton are “afraid to play at home” because their tactics are more suited to playing on the counter.
Towards the end of Everton’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday, a result which guaranteed the Toffees will finish with their lowest home points tally in their history since three points for a win was introduced, a man ran onto the pitch to remonstrate with stand-in captain Leon Osman and shout abuse at manager Roberto Martinez.
Besic understands the fans’ frustration but has called for unity ahead of an important few days which takes in a Merseyside derby at Anfield and an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
“It is their choice. That is the fans. They are always right,” Besic said.
“That is not a problem for us. I just think we have to keep together; all the fans, the players, the staff to reach the final and maybe win the cup.
“We always give our best. You can’t say the season is all bad – we’ve got to two semi-finals.”
The atmosphere at Goodison, where Everton have won just four league matches in the last 12 months, is becoming increasingly detrimental.
There is little positivity from the crowd and any mistake is greeted with groans.
Besic believes the main problem, however, is that Everton are more suited to playing on the counter-attack but feel they have to take a more proactive approach at home that often works against them.
“Yeah, you can feel it but we are professional footballers. We have to deal with it,” added Besic of the fan dissent.
“Away is a different game, we have to defend more, the opponent have most of the ball, but here we have to take the ball and play.
“That is the difference maybe this season in that we are afraid to play at home because we feel maybe it is better to defend and play on the counter.”
It probably works in Everton’s favour that their next two crucial matches are not at Goodison.
The trip to Anfield is one they can probably afford to lose, but the same cannot be said of their date at Wembley.
Besic tried to play down the significance of the next seven days, however.
“The Liverpool game is more for the fans, we just see them as normal opponents. That is it,” he said.
“We have to just win our games. That is it. We can’t be nervous now or think about the semi-final. We have to think from game to game.
“Maybe in the league we will not win so many games but it is important if we win the cup it would be a good season.”