Frank Lampard says Everton’s performances between now and the end of the season must be “spot on” for a successful conclusion to the Club’s relegation fight.
Manager Lampard’s side were left rueing two refuted penalty appeals and missed half-chances following Sunday’s Merseyside derby defeat.
The “discipline and attitude and togetherness and spirit” employed by Everton at Anfield nevertheless left Lampard “more positive” over Everton’s survival hopes.
Everton had opportunities for Anthony Gordon and Abdoulaye Doucoure prior to Liverpool’s opening goal, scored by Andrew Robertson after 62 minutes.
Gordon had penalty claims in either half, too, following challenges from Naby Keita and Joel Matip.
Everton, who have collected seven points from their past three home games, welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park next Sunday.
“We showed great organisation away from home, which is something we’ve been striving for,” said Lampard, whose side trail 17th-placed Burnley by two points, but have one more game remaining than the Turf Moor club.
“Every game [from now], we have to be spot on, we have to fight and believe.
“The whole club has to do that, there will be some negative chat [externally], but we’ve been in this fight since I’ve been here.
“If it goes to the end, let’s stand up and take it to the end.
“I was pleased with the way we competed in this game and in terms of performance, I am more positive [about chances of staying up].
“There are 18 points to fight for, that is a lot of points.
“It is important for the players and fans and Club not to get sucked into that in a negative way.
“Be realistic, yes – but there are a lot of games for us to try to win.
“With the attitude we showed today, the togetherness and spirit, and if a few things go our way, which didn’t today, we’ll get the results.”
Everton utilised Gordon’s pace and intelligence to cause issues for Liverpool on the counter-attack.
The forward twice believed he deserved penalty awards. Keita appeared to make contact with Gordon’s foot in the box, but referee Stuart Attwell rejected the shout and cautioned the Everton player. And, after half-time, 21-year-old Gordon fell on the left of the area after an arm in the back from centre-back Matip.
“I think they both could have been penalties but you often don't get them at Anfield,” said Lampard.
“The fact there's contact and he gets booked is crazy. The second one was a foul [anywhere else] on the pitch. Sometimes you don't get them here.”
Everton ceded the majority of possession to Liverpool. The hosts’, however, struggled to convert their share of the ball into clear opportunities.
It took a clever piece of play from Mohamed Salah to cross for Robertson to score, before Divock Origi exploited Everton’s urgent need for an equaliser with five minutes remaining.
“The gameplan was formed understanding they are one of the best teams in the world,” added Lampard.
“Could we be disciplined and work hard within that? Yes.
“Could we break and create chances? Yes.
“They didn’t threaten our goal at all in the first half and we had a couple of opportunities: Doucoure running through and moments in their box.
“If we’d scored the first goal, the game would have felt completely different.
"But you know with Liverpool, they can produce a moment of brilliance, like Salah for the first goal, or [hurt you with their] aggressive nature; an overhead kick bounced into the floor and landed on Origi’s head.
“I couldn’t have asked for much more from the players.
“We are not in a position to go toe-to-toe with Liverpool. We are in a position to be smart and we were smart for 60 minutes.
“The goal went in and it became very difficult.
“There is no doubting the attitude and the way the lads stuck to their task was really good.
“The thing we are missing is being clinical with those chances, both boxes affect the game.
"I'm proud and happy with the performance. We have to take that spirit forward to the final games.”