Heitinga: We Owe Fans
Defender says Blues must make amends for League Cup exit.
John Heitinga says Everton owe their supporters after Tuesday's disappointing League Cup exit at Leeds.
Despite being cheered on by as many as 5000 travelling Evertonians, the Blues produced a sluggish performance at Elland Road, slipping to a surprise 2-1 defeat.
The loss blocked what was seemingly one of Everton's most obvious routes to silverware and Heitinga says the supporters deserved better.
"We need to bounce back, especially for the fans," said Heitinga, who took the captain’s armband on what was his 100th start for the Club. "We came with 5000 Evertonians, which was great. The support of them was really great. It was because of us that we lost, not them.
"The next round when you see Leeds playing it will still be hard that we're not continuing in the cup, but that's football. You need to focus on the next couple of games and we need to bounce back now. Not only for ourselves, for the fans.
"The confidence is still in the team because we've played really good football the last couple of months, we're near the top of the league and we want to stay there.
"We saw it as a way we could win silverware and it's the shortest way to a trophy. We are out of the competition now and we need to focus on the league instead. There is not much time to think about this game because the next game is in a few days."
Everton's task was made tricky at Elland Road as they fell behind to a goal from Aidy White inside four minutes.
Rodolph Austin then doubled the Championship outfit’s advantage midway through the second half, and though Sylvain Distin pulled one back 10 minutes from time, the Blues couldn't find a leveller to force extra time.
And Heitinga added: "It was a big disappointment, we started really badly. We didn't play how we normally play and they scored an easy goal in the first couple of minutes.
"After that the first half was [all] them. We didn't create anything, there was no spirit.
"In the second half you could see there was a different kind of way that we played with Felli up top behind Victor [Anichebe] and we created some chances. The second half was more of a contest but we lost the game in the first half.
"We've got a good squad and sometimes you have games like this, it happens. Unfortunately we are out of the cup now and we need to focus on the next game on Saturday."