Lucas Digne says Everton “look like more of a team” under Rafa Benitez after the Spanish manager's team beat Norwich City for a third straight home win.
The 2-0 victory on Saturday, earned courtesy of goals from Andros Townsend and Abdoulaye Doucoure, doubled as the “perfect” reaction to a difficult week.
Everton suffered a first loss of their Premier League campaign at Aston Villa after four unbeaten games.
But after missing out on a League Cup fourth round spot following a penalty shootout defeat at QPR in midweek, manager Benitez’s side came out fighting against Norwich to claim three points and climb to fifth in the embryonic table.
“We are more compact compared to last season, we are more together and look like more of a team,” Digne told evertontv.
“We are reacting very well every time we have some problems.
“This is a good way, we have a good spirit, and [positively responding to setbacks] is important for a big team.
“We are working very hard during the week and try to put this on the pitch at the weekend… we are playing good football and have to keep this.
“We were disappointed after the Aston Villa game and the cup match – the cup, even more, because we created some chances and played good football.
“But Saturday was the perfect day, a 2-0 win and a clean sheet.
“It was a good reaction from the team.”
There was a strong hint towards freshly installed grit and resolve following Benitez’s appointment in Everton’s opening two home games of the season.
Twice they fell behind at Goodison and twice they won and those successive revivals would have been encouraging in any context.
After winning only twice on the previous 59 occasions they’d conceded first in Premier League games, however, the victories over Southampton and Burnley suggested a sea change in mentality.
Digne was instrumental in strengthening that impression, as an organised and clinical Everton swept past Norwich.
Townsend converted from the spot for his fourth goal of the season and Doucoure rifled in after a fabulous run and pass from Demarai Gray.
"It is easy to play with these types of players [Townsend and Gray] and you can just enjoy it," said left-back Digne, who supplied nine crosses – two more than any other player on the field – and was part of a sound defensive performance that limited Norwich to two attempts on target.
Everton’s 100-per-cent Goodison return this term strikes a notable contrast to last season when a sequence of poor results anchored the team below the top-six positions.
“It is a tough place for the opponent and it won’t be easy to beat us at Goodison this season,” added Digne.
“Last year it was different because we played without fans.
“It is not an excuse but we can see the difference today [against Norwich] and since the beginning of the season.
“They are doing an amazing job and are like the 12th man.
“For us, it is amazing to play in front of them.”