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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Tim: We Must Build On This

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Tim Howard insists Everton build on the positives he observed in the game against Arsenal.

The USA custodian was beaten only by a sublime Robin van Persie goal at the Emirates on Saturday but he believes there is plenty for Everton to build on.

The Toffees now have two home games in five days as the season enters its most hectic period.

"There are positives," Howard told evertontv. "We played pretty well but we all feel pretty bad because we lost and you don't get anything for losing.

"We played well enough to get a point but it wasn't to be; it was a fantastic goal by van Persie, he's in electric form."

The reverse at the hands of the Gunners was Everton's second consecutive 1-0 defeat but Howard reckons those statistics don't reflect and improved level of defensive performance in recent weeks.

"I think we have been very good defensively," he explained. "Unfortunately we haven't kept out that one sneaky goal here and there.

"Even against the likes of Wolves, they got a penalty but we defended well. We defended well at Bolton and for the most part we kept Stoke out and weathered their bombardment.

"We played well again today but we ned to keep them out and get the goals at the other end. It's going to come, it really will.

"We have got to keep playing confidently. We always tend to do well in this period, I have been here six seasons now and this is usually our best spell so long may that continue."

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EvertonLive

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  • Saturday, 18:02

    REACTION: Roberto Martinez said his side paid the price for poor defending following the defeat at St Mary's: evertonfc.com/news/2014/12/2…

  • Saturday, 17:30

    REPORT: An own goal, plus strikes from Pelle and Yoshida resign the Blues to defeat at St Mary's: evertonfc.com/fixtures/2010-…

  • Saturday, 17:20

    Martinez: “We had a good result on Monday and wanted to follow that up. This is a setback and now we need to get ready for Stoke at home.”

  • Saturday, 17:19

    Martinez: “The way we defended balls and crosses into our box was disappointing. It was a day when nothing went in our favour.#EFC#EFC