Dean Smith admitted that Aston Villa were “devastated” to miss out on all three points at Everton, but backed his “resilient” squad to keep fighting.
Villa looked on course to pick up a vital win in their battle to escape the relegation zone, but Theo Walcott scored a late equaliser to limit them to just a draw.
With two games left, Villa are now three points away from 17th place. The occupants of that spot, Watford, face those in the position above, West Ham, in a pivotal match on Friday.
Knowing at least one of them will drop points, this was a big opportunity for Villa to close the gap. And Smith thinks they deserved to win instead.
“The lads are devastated because we deserved more,” Smith told Sky Sports. “We took the lead, we had other chances, then we have missed a massive chance.
“Defensively I thought we were good, but the last eight minutes we got sloppy on the ball and didn’t take pressure off ourselves.
“I felt we needed to show more composure on the ball. There is massive pressure on us because we know what is at stake.
“We are disappointed but we have to concentrate on our last two games. We are still in it. They are resilient lads and we have got better as the season has gone on.”