The Blues’ feeble run in the competition, which they have never won, continued as the Saints defeated them on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Despite making seven changes from the side which dispatched Fulham 3-0 three days earlier, manager Silva admitted the result came as an unwelcome surprise:
“[It was a] disappointing result for us. Of course, since the first day, I spoke with you and with our players and all of us know how important it is for us and, of course, when we didn’t achieve the result we want to go through in the competition, of course it’s a frustration for all of us, for our fans [and] for us as a club of course.
“I saw after the Fulham match we did well; our second half was really good. We tried to freshen some of the positions in our squad; some of them did a fantastic job. Some of them stayed in the best condition as well.
“We expected [a] different [result] in the match. Of course, the match went to penalties and in penalties, anything can happen.”
Many Evertonians were understandably aggrieved at Silva’s decision to make drastic alterations to his line-up; players like Maarten Stekelenburg and Kieran Dowell, whose only first-team action this season came in the same competition, were surprise inclusions on Tuesday.
But Silva acknowledged that Tuesday’s result and performance was not acceptable, and empathised with the fans’ disappointment:
“[I am] 100 per cent with them [the fans] in this frustration. It’s not a matter of if the coach makes changes or not. At the end, I tried to keep some consistency in our back line at the moment. To be fair, the three positions we changed clearly was behind the striker.
“I know what they [the fans] expect - to go through in the competitions, to try to fight for some titles as well, and when I prepare something, it is to win and to go through.
“It is not just to give some options for these [fringe] players to play or to see them in a game.”
The performances of wingers Ademola Lookman and Bernard, each yet to make a Premier League start for Everton this season, were two positives to take from Tuesday night.
While Silva expressed his delight at their showings against Southampton, he was bullish as to whether he would reward them with a start at the King Power Stadium tomorrow:
“The two wingers [Ademola Lookman and Bernard], they were the best players on the pitch last Tuesday. They played well, they showed on the pitch what they are doing every day in the training sessions as well.
“It is possible. They are working really hard. The competition is hard for these two positions. When you’re speaking about Richarlison and Theo [Walcott], they are doing a very good job as well and after, we have Bernard and Lookman.
“They are a different profile of players as well but they are ready. If I take the decision, they are ready to play and to help the team, I am sure of that.”