Jordan Pickford conceded Everton were disappointed to come away from in-form Crystal Palace with only a point – but highlighted the positives to take for the Blues’ season run-in.
Sean Dyche’s men battled to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park, nullifying a Palace team that came into the contest boasting three straight victories and scoring nine goals.
Everton had to play the final 10 minutes a man down after Mason Holgate was sent off for a second yellow card while, in attack, the visitors came close to scoring in each half through Alex Iwobi and the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Keeper Pickford admitted his team could have done more on the day but showed enough encouraging signs ahead of Thursday’s clash against Newcastle United at Goodison Park.
“It’s good to get a point on the board,” said the England No.1. “I don’t think we were at our best intensity-wise as a unit but a clean sheet is always a positive. I felt like we could have put them under a bit more pressure but you can take positives from a point and you can also learn from it.
“Palace have been on a good run so credit to them. We need to keep working hard as a unit and get results. Overall, we’re a bit disappointed we didn’t get three points.
“[The half-time message] was for more intensity, be aggressive, be on the front foot and to put them under pressure. I don’t think we did that enough to get the three points but, hopefully, with the games to come we can keep working hard on the training pitch and get the performances.
“You believe all the time. It starts with confidence on the training pitch, hard work and giving everything you do. It should then naturally come on game day but the Premier League is tough but we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and graft.”
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DYCHE'S VERDICT ON PALACE POINT
Calvert-Lewin made his first start since Everton’s 1-0 win over league leaders Arsenal on 4 February following his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The striker lasted for 90 minutes before being replaced in injury-time by Neal Maupay and showed his qualities at both end of the pitch.
Pickford was encouraged to see his fellow England international back in action and believes both Calvert-Lewin, and Everton’s passionate fanbase, can play key roles between now and the end of the season.
“Dom gives us a point up top,” added Pickfird. “He’s been very unfortunate with injuries and we need him in this run-in.
“We know when he gets opportunities he will take them and he’s a good physical presence for us. It’s great to have him back in the side and working hard.
“The fans are magnificent, 3,000 of them coming down today. The Toffees are very proud. We’re a proud team and when the fans are like that we deserve to give them more. It’s all about passion and I try to give them as much passion as I can give.
“I know they’ll keep backing us. We’ve got Newcastle on Thursday and hopefully they’ll back us again.”