Seamus Coleman says Everton went a long way to showing "what we are about” in Sunday’s fevered 233rd edition of the Merseyside derby – and the defender is urging his side to continue in the same positive vein for the remainder of this campaign.
The Goodison Park contest ended scoreless and right-back Coleman confessed to a “little disappointment” over Everton having to settle for a single point on a pulsing afternoon in L4.
Marco Silva’s team nevertheless matched title-chasing Liverpool blow for blow. The sides each had three shots on target, while Everton attacker Bernard was inches from connecting with a Richarlison delivery zipped across the face of goal deep in the second half.
Everton have established a foothold in the Premier League's top half following their productive return to action from a 17-day break, the weekend's draw with Liverpool adding to a 3-0 success at Cardiff City five days previously.
The Blues are 10th and within striking distance of the seventh-place currently occupied by upwardly mobile Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“It was important to give our fans a performance and it was a good point for us in the end,” said Coleman.
“The manager wanted us to focus on ourselves and what we are about. We want to be doing more in an Everton shirt and, ultimately, competing for European places.
“We started the season well and when we get the crowd behind us like they were on Sunday, we are capable of achieving very good results.
“We have not done as well as we wanted overall this season but we have to keep grafting and look to build on these results.”
Silva’s team has recorded successive shutouts and kept four clean sheets in eight Premier League matches. Coleman captained Everton to a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth and led the side at Huddersfield Town where the Blues won 1-0.
The Irishman was skipper for the weekend’s derby clash following his recall at Cardiff after two games on the sidelines.
He led by example against Liverpool, flinging himself in the way of a goalbound Jordan Henderson strike immediately after Jordan Pickford’s point-blank stop from Mohamed Salah.
Coleman delivered three crosses and his total of 20 sprints was eclipsed only by Egyptian Salah .
The indefatigable Gylfi Sigurdsson, who covered 7.3 miles was the only Everton player to run farther than Coleman’s 6.7 miles.
Everton spent 55.6 per cent of the match in Liverpool territory and Coleman wants Everton to summon a similarly energetic and forceful display against Newcastle United next time out.
“We worked hard all week following the Cardiff game and our performance against Liverpool was similar to the one at Anfield earlier this season,” said Coleman.
“In that game they nicked a lucky goal at the end and I felt we maybe could have nicked a goal this time – but it wasn’t to be.
“The little disappointment is we didn’t beat them but it was a better performance from our point of view. We have to build on it and try to win the game at Newcastle on Saturday.
“We knew Liverpool’s front three was dangerous and we had to keep tight at the back and try to break on them when we could.”