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Zouma calls for Everton reaction after Leicester defeat

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French defender says Blues must learn harsh lessons from Foxes loss

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Zouma could not stop Jamie Vardy scoring the only goal of the game
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Everton defender Kurt Zouma says the Blues must show their quality to arrest their poor form after a 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City.

Centre-half Zouma, on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, was one of the the Toffees’ better performers against the Foxes on New Year’s Day, but the visitors left Goodison Park with a deserved win thanks to Jamie Vardy’s second-half goal.

The Blues have now won just one of their last eight games, but Zouma told evertonfc.com after the Leicester defeat that it is not a case of a lack of ability in the squad:

“We need to grow as a team and when you don’t win, you learn, so we have to learn from today. We have to be back at it again next week. Of course, we have the quality in the team to do it.

“Leicester wanted the draw at least and one mistake gave them the goal. This is football. Now we need to be focused and try to turn things back our way.”

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League
It was disappointing start to 2019 for Everton
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

It was a similar story to Saturday’s defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion by the same scoreline, as a toothless Everton could not break down a resilient Leicester outfit.

Everton started December in sixth place, but having collected only five points from the last possible 24, the Blues are now mired in mid-table.

Zouma and his team-mates have not kept a clean sheet since November 24, either, and have conceded 16 goals in the last eight games, including a 6-2 home thrashing against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Frenchman added that a lack of confidence may be an issue, but it should not be an excuse for not doing the basics right:

“Maybe the confidence is a bit lower, but it is down to us to turn it back round and do things right.

”We need to stop conceding goals, if you keep a clean sheet you will draw at least. It is about the work we do in training. We have had less time because of all the games but now we have more time to work on it and speak together.

Everton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Jordan Pickford has not kept a clean sheet in eight games
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

”A few months ago we put quality in the games and were difficult to beat. We were winning games and we need to turn it back this way. We have the quality to do it. It is all about confidence. We just need to be focused on our jobs.

“You cannot play well all the time but you need to be right at it. You always play to win games but we are in a run where we are not winning a lot and we are very disappointed with the result today.”

Up next for Everton is an FA Cup tie at home to Lincoln City on Saturday, before the league programme resumes with the visit of Bournemouth on January 13.