Sam Allardyce says Everton “paid the price” for missing their opportunities in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Watford.
Oumar Niasse, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michael Keane all had sights of goal before Troy Denney struck the hosts’ winning goal with 11 minutes left to play.
Everton remain in ninth spot in the Premier League, two points behind Leicester City in eighth and a further point adrift of seventh-placed Burnley.
Manager Allarydce was nevertheless frustrated at his team’s inability to replicate their formidable form at Goodison Park – where they have collected 17 points form the last 24 available – on their travels.
“If you squander your opportunities, you can pay the price in the Premier League – it is as simple as that,” Allardyce said.
“The opportunities we squandered by our lack of finishing in the opposition’s final third ended up meaning we lost the game 1-0.
“We should have come off with a 0-0. But our problem away from home is not just the squandering of chances – it is also the fact that we are not picking up enough results to get us safe as quick as we can.
“You look at the results as a whole and you go, ‘Great - 17 points out of the past eight home games’, but then you look at the away results and you think, ‘Wow - what is the difference?’”
Allardyce was particularly frustrated by the nature of the goal Everton conceded to lose at Watford.
Niasse had struck the post with a deflected first-half effort, and Michael Keane headed Theo Walcott’s cross narrowly off target shortly after the break, before Deeney spun and thumped home late in the contest.
Allardyce was especially frustrated at the way Everton allowed Watford to mount their decisive attack.
He said: “It could have been avoided quite easily by us taking possession of the ball on the halfway line - and the hesitation between players caused us the problem initially.
“Then we saw an outstanding finish from Troy Deeney. If you give him that much room in the box he will score and that’s what he did.
“For us, it’s very disappointing because it looked like we were going to get a point today. It would have been deserved, too, but instead it’s another bitterly disappointing result away from home.”
Everton’s away form initially picked up following Allardyce’s arrival last November, with the Blues collecting five points from the manager’s first three matches away from Goodison Park.
They only conceded once in that period – recording two clean sheets – and the boss wants his team to revert to that form in their defending.
“The clean sheet is the answer. We have to get that clean sheet, which I thought we would achieve today, at least,” he added.
“That is the answer to turning around results away from home – then nicking that one goal like Watford nicked it – but in our favour, instead of theirs.
“In our overall performance we were just as good as Watford and in some spells a lot better. We matched them in every area, apart from the most important one.”