Everton exited the Carabao Cup last night at the quarter final stage, having put together a second half comeback from two goals down but faltering at the penalty shoot out.
Two quick goals in the first half had put Leicester City ahead in a first half performance that spoke volumes of the tired legs the Blues have been lining up game after game due to injuries and illness.
But egged on by their earnest manager Duncan Ferguson, the Toffees pulled two goals back - first a sweet Tom Davies volley, then a Leighton Baines rocket in time added on that took us right back to his glory days - to take the clash to penalties.
Speaking after the game, Big Dunc was disappointed he couldn’t carry Everton to the next round of the tournament the Blues are yet to win.
“I’m devastated for the fans not to get them a semi-final,” said Ferguson. “It’s so tough not to get over the line.
“There’s a lot of disappointed players in the dressing room, a few tears. We need to take momentum from this but it’s hard to take.
“We’ve got great team spirit now and I think it’s something to build on. We’ve got a massive game on Saturday and we need to be up for it.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve done but more proud of the players. They’ve given me every ounce of energy and I’d like to thank them for that.”
The caretaker manager went on -
“Leighton was unbelievable tonight. What choice we’ve got [at left-back].
“But the players are gutted, I’m gutted. The second half was much better. We were too passive in the first half.
“We were picking virtually the same team as Man United, which is not easy for the lads. We changed the shape after the break, which put more pressure on the ball and gave us belief.
“We just came up short in the end.”
Everton are looking very close to announcing the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the next permanent manager, with media reports claiming that he will be present for the Goodison Park tilt against Arsenal, and taking over immediately after this weekend’s match.
Hopefully the fans will show up again in full voice and along with the players applaud Ferguson for his splendid service to the club the last couple of weeks, as well as giving the Italian manager a true Blue welcome.