Kurt Zouma wants Everton to take heart for sticking to their game plan and creating chances despite their 3-1 loss at Manchester City on Saturday.
The French defender was encouraged to see the Blues take the game to the reigning Premier League champions after going behind to goals either side of the break from Gabriel Jesus.
City came into the contest having lost just once on home soil in the league since December 2016, while netting 30 goals at the Etihad in 2018-19, more than 16 top-flight sides had scored combined.
Everton kept City at bay in the early stages on Saturday and went closest to breaking the deadlock when Richarlison volleyed over Lucas Digne’s left-wing cross.
Even after Jesus’ double had put Pep Guardiola’s side in control, Dominic Calvert-Lewin reduced the deficit with a glancing header from another Digne centre, while the England Under-21 international, Richarlison and substitute Theo Walcott had further chances to hit the back of the net.
Zouma spoke of his disappointment as the Toffees missed the chance to move back up to sixth in the table, but believes they can be proud of giving everything and keeping to Silva’s plan against a top-quality side.
“We are very disappointed but we tried to play our football,” said the France international, who was recalled to the Everton side in a three-man central defence partnership with Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. “We knew they are strong pressing the ball and are strong on the counter-attack but when you try to push forward you have to take risks and we did.
“Unfortunately it didn’t go for us but I think we created chances and we can be happy that we tried to play. It’s a defeat but we need to move on.
“The goal gave us a bit more confidence but then we conceded the third goal too quickly. In football you have to be prepared for everything. We did our job, we tried to play the way we wanted to. We took our risks but unfortunately we lost. As I said, we need to move on to next week. We have another important game at home and we will try to win that.”
The Blues now turn their attention to Sunday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur to Goodison Park which marks the start of a Christmas period which includes trips to Burnley on Boxing Day and Brighton three days later, before Leicester City come to Merseyside on New Year’s Day.
“We created chances against a strong team with strong players,” added Zouma.
“It’s not difficult to enjoy these type of games against a big team in a big stadium. We had chances, the first one from Richarlison in the first half. Maybe we should have scored more but it’s done now. Everyone gave 100 per cent. Now we’re going to recover and great ready for next week.
“We had a game plan and tried to play our match. We will play with confidence. We are at home and will play for our fans. We need to keep the same spirit and move on.”