Morgan Schneiderlin has issued an impassioned rallying cry ahead of Wednesday’s visit of West Ham, emphasising how much Everton’s players “care about this football club, care about the teammates next to us and we must stick together and fight”.
But the French midfielder acknowledged “it is easy to speak” as he called on the Blues to get it right on the pitch, insisting “the main thing is to address the wrong things and start playing better”.
Following Sunday’s 4-1 loss at Southampton, Schneiderlin is adamant the Blues will come out fighting for the upcoming back-to-back games at Goodison against the Hammers and Huddersfield.
“We have good players, but we have to be more composed - more of a bit of everything,” said the 28-year-old.
“People can doubt our will to do well, our will to fight, but if you see us in the changing room, we are all motivated and very strong in the head to do our best for the fans and for ourselves.
“But football is not just about in the dressing room - it is about on the pitch.
“We lacked many things outside of fighting [against Southampton]. We didn’t keep the ball well enough, we didn’t press well enough. It is our fault and now we need to focus on Wednesday and win on Wednesday.
“We must stick together and fight, but also be more confident. Everyone needs to be confident in his ability and everyone has to know that getting out of this comes through confidence in ourselves and the players around us.
“We care about this football club, we care about the teammates next to us and we just want to have the fans on our side and confident [in us].
“But it is easy to speak, the main thing is to address that in the next two days, to address the wrong things we are doing and start playing better.”
Everton had taken four points from their two Premier League games immediately prior to the weekend’s contest on the south coast.
The Toffees had nevertheless needed to overturn a two-goal deficit to topple Watford and last week at Crystal Palace equalised twice to earn a draw.
They conceded first again at St Mary’s – and Schneiderlin says his side must find a way of getting themselves ahead in games, starting against West Ham, who showed signs of improvement under new boss David Moyes when drawing with Leicester City last Friday.
“That is massive… the first goal changes the complexion of the game because the other team have to open up,” said the midfielder, who has started nine of the Blues’ Premier League fixtures this term.
“We have shown character in games to come back and fight but scoring the first goal is going to be massive for us and, hopefully, we can do that on Wednesday.
“We just need to fight in the same direction and find a way to play. We have to be more composed.
“We need to find a way to keep the ball and to put pressure on other teams instead of being the side under pressure.”
A toe injury forced Schneiderlin off at the midway point of Everton’s meeting with Palace.
But after starting and finishing the game against former club Southampton, he insisted he would be ready to join his teammates in the trenches this week.
“I had an injection before the game at Palace and couldn’t feel my feet, so I was struggling,” added Schneiderlin.
“It is still a bit painful but I have to grit my teeth and keep going. I am a fighter and I want to fight.”