Sean Dyche has labelled Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 defeat to Luton Town as a "missed opportunity" as his side failed to build on back-to-back wins over Brentford and Aston Villa.
The Toffees started the game positively, but two set-piece strikes from the visitors gave the Hatters a two-goal lead within the first 32 minutes.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin managed to pull one back just before half-time, but, despite the Blues’ endeavour throughout the second half, Luton stayed strong defensively to pick up their first victory of the season at Goodison Park.
“We started brightly enough,” said Dyche, speaking to evertontv after the game. “We conceded a poor set-piece goal but continued to ask questions. The killer edge to finish games off is the thing we’re missing. We’ve created lots of chances today.
“I must give credit to Luton. They worked hard constantly, and they get the ball forward. They work off set-pieces, and they did that well today, so credit to them.
“We told the players – they knew to deal with that and then play our own way. We did play our own way and we dominated the game with the ball, but you have to take your chances. You can’t create that many chances at home and not take them.”
The Blues' dominance is illustrated through the game’s statistics. Everton recorded 23 shots during the match – the most they have accumulated so far this season, while accumulating an expected goals figure of 2.89 – again, their highest during this campaign.
After the impressive showings in wins on the road against both Brentford in the Premier League and Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, Dyche saw Saturday's defeat as a missed opportunity for his side.
“For whatever reason, we’ve looked so free away from home,” said Dyche. “We looked so free on Wednesday, creating chances, with players looking to score goals. The intent was there.
“Today, it just doesn’t quite look the same, which is a big challenge. I’ve spoken endlessly about changing the story, but we seem to be waiting for someone else to change the story, and it drives me mad.
“It’s not a terrible performance. You look at the stats, and it’s a dominant performance in many ways, but it’s a team mentality. It’s a killer instinct that teams have. When we come away from that, we don’t look as potent, and we don’t look as strong.
“I was really looking forward to today, I really was. I thought with the two results in the week, [we’d have our] shoulders back, Goodison crowd, so we could play with some freedom and explore that right we earned through winning games. But we huffed and puffed and had some moments, but not enough.
“When I talk about changing the story, it’s about changing that mentality, and we had a great opportunity today.”
The Blues’ next game represents an ideal chance to rectify Everton’s faltering home form. The Toffees welcome Bournemouth to Goodison Park, and Dyche wants the faithful Evertonians to be rewarded for their incredible support.
“It’s fantastic here,” said Dyche on the Goodison atmosphere. “The crowd have been amazing. They get disgruntled at the end, but rightly so, because they’ve seen a team, once again, dominate a game and not do it right at one end, and not do it right at the other end.
“We want to be playing here and we want to be giving these fans goals, and we want to give them wins. That’s what we’ve got to change the mentality of because it looks a bit like we’re waiting for someone else to do it. Alrightness gets you nothing in football. We have to change that mentality.”