Dominic Calvert-Lewin insists Everton will take confidence from their energetic performance against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
The Blues stood toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola’s team for large periods, but injury-time strikes in both halves saw City secure the three points.
Operating as the Blues’ lone frontman, Calvert-Lewin delivered a mature, industrious display.
His tireless performance was emblematic of an Everton team that got after City right from the first whistle.
Marco Silva’s team maintained impressive intensity throughout the 90 minutes and the result was put beyond doubt only when substitute Gabriel Jesus nodded in the visitors’ second at the death.
Calvert-Lewin says the team will take strong belief into Saturday’s clash with Watford at Vicarage Road.
“Despite the result, we have to be proud of ourselves,” he said. “Everyone, to a man, put in a good shift.
“We dug in and gave it our all.
“We played to our strengths, we put the ball in behind when we needed to. Also, there was me, Tom [Davies] and Jonjoe [Kenny] in the team. All young lads who love playing together.
“We’ll take confidence from the performance and take that into Saturday. We will give our all again to win that game.
“We have to just focus on making sure we finish as high as we can. We know the quality we have in the team.
“It’s just a matter of putting it together on the pitch, building confidence and believing in ourselves.”
The Blues were afforded a rousing reception from the Goodison faithful at the final whistle - the watching Evertonians warmly recognising the team’s efforts.
Calvert-Lewin says the players were determined to reward the fans loyal backing with a positive display.
“They’re a 12th man at times and, when they’re behind us like they were today, it gives us a lift,” he said.
“I think it was important we started fast and we all put in a shift to try to get them behind us.
“I think you can see from the reaction from them at the end, as long as we put in 110 per cent, the fans will always be happy with that.
“We worked very hard to try to get a good result. A lapse in concentration towards the end of the first half made it hard for ourselves.
“We came out in the second half and gave it a good go but couldn’t quite break them down, and then they nick one at the end.
“The games are coming thick and fast and you have to look towards the next game now. We will take confidence from this performance and look to get a win at Watford and move up the table.”