Abdoulaye Doucoure insists Everton must “take the positives and move forward” after producing an impressive performance against champions Manchester City that warranted much more than a late 1-0 defeat at Goodison.
Doucoure made a welcome return to the Blues’ starting line-up following five weeks out with a groin injury sustained against Aston Villa last month.
The 29-year-old played for the first time under manager Frank Lampard in a midfield three alongside Allan and Donny van de Beek and produced a trademark high-energy, all-action 90-minute display that defied his time on the sidelines.
It typified an impressive Everton display that saw the hosts create the better chances in the first half and then show plenty of endeavour and fight after the break, only for Phil Foden’s close-range finish eight minutes from time to cruelly denied the Blues any reward.
Despite leaving Goodison empty-handed, Doucoure was adamant Everton can draw on the plus points to ensure they move in the right direction with 14 Premier League games still left to play and an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Boreham Wood coming up on Thursday.
“We are disappointed with the result and I think we deserved more tonight, at least a point,” said Doucoure.
“To concede so late was disappointing for us but there are positives for us to take from the performance we put in.
“We showed good commitment and a good attitude. The goal we conceded was a little mistake by us but at the end we have to take the positives and try to move forward.”
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LAMPARD'S EVERTON PRIDE DESPITE CITY LOSS
Everton were aggrieved when what looked like a handball by Rodri shortly after they fell behind was not given as a spot-kick by VAR, with Doucoure adamant it was “a clear penalty”.
But he believes there was still plenty to take from Everton’s display to show the clear signs of progress under Lampard.
“The manager is giving us a lot of confidence,” added Doucoure.
“Goodison is our home and we’ve played very well here since he came in and if we keep playing this way we are going to move up the table.”