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

Distin: We Paid The Price

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

Sylvain Distin believes Everton paid the price for their first-half profligacy in front of goal at Fulham.
 
The Cottagers fought back from a one goal half-time deficit to dump the Blues out of the Capital One Cup at the third round stage on Tuesday night.
 
The Craven Cottage reverse was a huge disappointment for the Blues and Distin - who captained the side on the evening - believes they should have put the tie beyond their hosts during a first 45 minutes they dominated.
 
He said: "In the first half, we played really well and had the game in our hands. Realistically, we should have been at least 2-0 up at half-time. We created a lot of opportunities and chances but only scored one.
 
"It was up to us to carry on the momentum of the first half. We only have ourselves to blame because it was a game we could and should have won."
 
Everton took the lead in the tie after 12 minutes, with Steven Naismith calmly converting after good build-up play from Gerard Deulofeu.
 
But despite continuing to create chances against their West London hosts, Everton failed to double their advantage before the break.
 
Fulham adapted from there on in and the flow of the game ultimately turned in their favour.
 
Distin added: "In the second half they changed their system a little bit, began to press us higher and we didn't adapt. It was a different game. We conceded the first goal and then the second one, which was about communication.

"It is an easy set-piece and easy pass but we just didn't focus, so it wasn't good.
 
"We have strong character and I'm sure we will learn from it. We will re-focus, because the next league game comes quickly. We will be ready for that.
 
"The mentality at Everton has not changed, we are a team no matter what. I'm in the right place to talk about it after what happened to me in the semi-final [of the FA Cup in 2012]. I learned a lot about my teammates and after that mistake I saw everybody behind me.

"Even though I am 35 and experienced and didn't really need it, it still makes you feel special and makes you feel much better and stronger. We are a team, we are together and we are strong."
 
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