Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti pulled no punches when assessing the fading state of the club’s quest for Champions League qualification.
Everton squandered the opportunity to leapfrog bitter rivals Liverpool into sixth position after suffering a costly 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa. The Toffees’ woeful home form once again came back to haunt them, registering their eighth league defeat at Goodison Park this season.
Both sides could’ve netted with frequency in a pulsating opening hour, though the scores remained locked at 1-1 entering the final 10 minutes.
The deadlock would ultimately be broken in emphatic fashion, much to the chagrin of Ancelotti and Everton.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Ancelotti said: “The way we made a lot of mistakes at the beginning – no balance, no concentration… It was not a good evening. I don’t know why.
“They showed more desire. It was an important game that we tried to win to stay in the fight. We are still in the fight but it is more and more difficult.
“It is difficult to say why [they struggle at home]. It is the same team who beat Arsenal seven days ago.
“We of course could do better at home for sure. It is unbelievable – the run we had away and the run we had at home.
“We were not good. We didn’t have good balance with the ball and difficulties. The season is not finished yet. There are five games and we have to keep fighting. They are important games to fight and to try and reach our target.”
Pickford addresses home woes, England chances
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also spoke to the press, telling BT Sport: “We need to iron out little things and just keep going. We’ve got five games to go now and just need to win every game. It’s very frustrating.”
Regarding the club’s dire home form throughout the campaign, the stopper said: “We work hard all week. We’ve won a lot of games away from home. The [lack of] fans play a big part in it, but it’s down to us to give our all. We do, but sometimes it doesn’t pay off.”
On his own form and fitness, Pickford added: “I’m there to keep the ball out of the net. I’m in a good place. I’m working hard on the training pitch every day and try to give a performance for the lads come matchday.
“The England manager was there tonight but it’s about focusing on the job at hand. I like to give 100% in every game I play in. If that produces results for the lads it’s great, but it wasn’t to be tonight.
“I’ve had a little injury this season, but mentally I’m in a very good place. I’m working very hard on and off the pitch to be the best player and person I can be. Hopefully that’ll pay off come the Euros in the summer.”