Gylfi Sigurdsson insists Everton are “more than good enough” to turn around their form – and, despite losing at Manchester United on Sunday, the Club-record signing saw signs of the new-look Blues starting to gel.
The defeat by United represented a third successive Premier League reverse for Everton – but the 4-0 scoreline did not accurately reflect the narrative of a hard-fought encounter.
Both Wayne Rooney and Sigurdsson were denied by terrific reaction stops from home goalkeeper David de Gea as Everton chased an equaliser after half-time, in what was a performance vastly improved on those delivered against Tottenham and Atalanta in the preceding eight days.
Ronald Koeman’s side were right in the contest until Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck to put the hosts two goals to the good with seven minutes to play.
Asked if the Toffees’ Old Trafford display indicated that the team was steadily gelling, Sigurdsson told evertontv: “Yes – it is hard to say that after a 4-0 loss but we will stay together, stay positive and keep working.
“A lot of us have been in this kind of position before – where things are not going your way. It does not look too good at the moment but I know we are more than good enough to turn this around.
“And I think with the staff and the players we have, and the will within the team and the players, eventually we will turn this around.”
Manager Koeman had lamented Everton’s lack of aggression and defensive organisation following the Europa League defeat by Atalanta last Thursday.
He responded by making five changes to his team and adjusting the side’s set-up, switching to a back three – and reintroducing livewire Tom Davies into midfield.
Koeman was happy with Everton’s subsequent appetite for the fight and improved cohesion, if not the eventual outcome – and Sigurdsson agreed the Blues' effort in Manchester represented a significant upgrade on the one in Italy three days earlier.
“I think we performed better up to United’s second goal,” said Sigurdsson. “We had a couple of chances but I think towards the end, they got their best chances after our mistakes.
“I think in the second half it opened up a little bit and we managed to create a couple of chances and some half chances.
“They maybe had more possession than us but we were quite dangerous on the counter attack when we won the ball.
“It is just those fine margins. We have to take our chances when we get them and it will be a different game.
“Even though we conceded four goals I think we were more solid as a team and harder to break down. But we are going to have to improve for the next few games.”