James Tarkowski accepts Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United was a “reminder” of the standards Everton need to produce on a weekly basis if they are to continue climbing the league table - but admits he and the team are relishing getting back in action against Fulham.
The Blues fell short in Saturday’s contest at Old Trafford, with a goal either side of half-time sealing a 2-0 win for the hosts.
Everton’s loss ended what had been a strong run of recent form, with Sean Dyche’s side having registered a four-match unbeaten streak.
Tarkowski conceded it wasn't the strongest of performances from the Blues but insisted the squad won’t let the setback derail their recent upward trajectory in terms of results and performances.
“It’s not always easy maintaining the standards we’ve shown recently because we have been pushing hard,” explained Tarkowski. “Sometimes you have off days like United on Saturday but we managed to stick in the game."
Erik ten Hag’s side started the contest brightly and created a number of big chances on the Everton goal.
Dogged defending, though, combined with a dazzling individual performance from Jordan Pickford helped keep the hosts at bay for much of the first period before Scott McTominay broke the deadlock eight minutes before half-time.
Tarkowski was keen to heap praise on the Everton and England No.1 who played a big part in helping the Blues ride out those moments they were under mounting pressure.
“I was hoping Jordan was going to keep us in it for the full first half so we could get in and regroup at the break,” added the centre-back. “It was a shame we went a goal down late on. But we were still in it across the second half and before they scored, I felt like we had a chance to nick a goal and see where the game goes.
“The overall performance wasn’t great, but sometimes with a goalkeeper like Jordan Pickford you can stick in there. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in the end on Saturday. He is an outstanding goalkeeper, though. You saw that Saturday."
Dyche’s side return to action this Saturday when they welcome Fulham to Goodison Park (kick-off 3pm BST). Tarkowski admits the Blues will embrace that fixture and see it as an opportunity to get back on track.
“Saturday was a reminder of the levels we need to be at to stay in this league,” he said. “We are treating it like a blimp in what has been a nice run of form. We have a full week ahead now to work hard and get ready for the game next weekend.
“Every game is an opportunity. We don’t look too far ahead. Game by game is how we have always worked, especially under this manager. We’re looking forward to this weekend.”