Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti insists his side are still heading in the right direction despite a fourth defeat in five matches cancelling out their stunning start to the season.
Seven successive victories at the start of the campaign, including four in the Premier League, was the club’s best in more than 100 years and they went into the October international break top of the table.
Since then, however, they have taken just four points from their last six matches and their only clean sheet in the league remains the opening day win at Tottenham.
Nevertheless, taking into account injuries to both first-choice full-backs Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne, Ancelotti does not believe they are going backwards.
“I think we are in the right direction. It is true that we were not able to repeat the start of the season,” he said.
“We have had some difficulties, we lost some players but that doesn’t mean that we are not in the right direction.
“We are in the right direction, but what we are doing in this moment is not enough and every one of us has to put in a little bit more in terms of character, personality, spirit and sacrifice to come back and have more consistency in results.”