Everton manager Marco Silva bemoaned his side’s loss of focus in their 2-2 home draw with Watford FC on Monday night.
The Blues took the lead against the club who sacked Silva in January on 15 minutes through fellow former Hornet Richarlison, and went into half-time with their 1-0 lead still intact.
But two Watford strikes in quick succession just after the hour mark, courtesy of a Seamus Coleman own goal and Abdoulaye Doucouré, gave the visitors a deserved lead after Everton had toiled.
A 96th-minute Lucas Digne freekick rescued a point for the Toffees, but it was not enough to leave Silva wholly satisfied. Speaking to BBC Sport, he said:
“It is a difficult match to talk about whether it [a draw] is fair or not. Second half they reacted and scored twice because we didn’t do what’s normal in our team. In that moment we have to keep playing our football.
“First half we more or less controlled them in a better way, second half we didn’t. In these moments we have to be strong when we play against teams doing what they [Watford] did, and with the ball we have to keep playing in our way. We didn’t do that in the second half.”
Watford started the second half by far the better side, with Everton barely able to break out of their own half before Roberto Pereyra’s 63rd-minute shot the woodwork before rebounding off Coleman into the net for the equaliser.
Two minutes later, through Doucouré’s close-range header, they were suddenly behind, and Silva admitted that Everton managed the game poorly having been relatively comfortable until half-time:
“We completely lost our focus in that moment. One moment, we are under control and then the first goal is a lack of communication and the second, they played fast from a free kick and our players did not have a normal focus to react. It’s our fault; they reacted and they scored twice.”
Minutes after falling behind, Gylfi Sigurðsson spurned the chance to draw Everton level as his penalty was easily saved by Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster; the second spot-kick that Sigurðsson has missed this season.
But Silva backed the Icelandic international, who has seven goals this term, and would not be drawn on whether he would be replaced as the Blues’ first-choice penalty taker, saying:
“Let’s see what we can do. We will analyse the match, we will see what decisions we can make in the future. Gylfi is scoring many, many goals for us as well. He has all of our support in this moment.”
Silva also praised Digne for his excellent last-gasp free-kick which salvaged a draw, as the summer signing from Barcelona celebrated his first goal for the club:
“For me, he showed good things because he showed personality and character to take the decision to kick that ball.
“Normally, everybody expects Gylfi to kick it because it is his strong side but Lucas took that decision and scored a very good goal.”
The Blues manager also said that the frosty reception he received from the away fans, with many brandishing rubber snakes in reference to Silva’s acrimonious departure from Vicarage Road in January did not make the late equaliser any sweeter, adding that he harbours no resentment towards Watford:
“It’s not important to me. What I can control is our players, our way of playing, what we have to do on the pitch, our fans, and doing everything we can to make them proud.”