Carlo Ancelotti says his Everton team must “switch on its mental attitude” and seize the opportunity to record a fourth successive Premier League away victory at Leeds United on Wednesday (7.30pm GMT).
Ancelotti has challenged his players to deliver an instant response to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
The result was only Everton’s second Premier League loss since November and Ancelotti said the team’s performance was lacking the “motivation, spirit and ambition” which had helped the Blues take 16 points from the previous 21 available.
Everton will face a Leeds team buoyed by an impressive 3-1 win at high-flying Leicester City on Sunday.
“It is a good opportunity to be back playing soon,” Ancelotti told evertontv.
“It will be a difficult game against Leeds. But all the games are unpredictable.
“The team has to switch on its mental attitude.
“We are used to showing this. We showed this against Leicester just three days before [the Newcastle match].
“In all the games we won, the spirit was good. Against Newcastle, no. In that aspect they were much better than us.
“I was disappointed and frustrated because we lost an opportunity to go up the table.
“The good run we had was not just because of our quality. Of course, we have quality, but without spirit, you are not able to show this.”
Wednesday’s game represents the Blues’ first Premier League clash with Leeds at Elland Road since April 2004, when Wayne Rooney netted in a 1-1 draw.
Leeds have impressed in their maiden season back in the top tier, with their energetic, attacking football earning widespread praise.
They currently sit 12th in the table – four points and four positions behind Everton and having played a game more than the Toffees.
Ancelotti’s Everton will be aiming to sustain their excellent form on the road this season, with 19 of the Blues’ 33 Premier League points gained away from home.
“With our supporters, I don’t think we could have lost these games at home, and maybe we couldn’t have won all these games away with the opposition fans,” added Ancelotti.
“But this is football now and it is good for us we have an opportunity on Wednesday [to win again].”