Everton drew 2-2 away at Tottenham Hotspur in the last game of the 2018-19 Premier League season. The Blues had fallen behind in the opening minutes of the game to an Eric Dier goal, but fought back and created some chances to equalize before scoring twice midway through the second half from Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun. However, just a minute later a Christian Eriksen freekick knotted the game at two and that is how it ended.
Manager Marco Silva was impressed by the battling qualities his side showed.
“It was a completely different match in the second half. We played more in our way and scored twice but unfortunately they managed to equalise.
“I told our players [at half-time] they should do everything differently from how we played at the beginning of the match; change some things in the way we were playing.
“We did not start well and conceded an early goal, which was tough. That moment reflected how we started the game, without full concentration or full focus.
“I didn’t like our first 20 to 25 minutes. But we reacted really well and in the final 15 minutes of the first half created enough chances to change the score.”
Overall Silva was quite pleased with how the Blues ended the season, playing some excellent football over the last couple of months.
“We finished the season in a good spot, playing good football and achieving good results. We are a stronger team than the one that started the season – and the players are at a different level from the beginning of the season.
“We have just one way for next season: to improve what we did this time. That must be our target. When you are a football manager – or player – and the people are proud of the work you are doing, it is everything.
“I want to give good feedback to my players to help them improve, but also give our fans things they like to see in our squad. This is my desire and aim as a manager. Thanks to the supporters, too.
“We started the season really well and were in a very good position, playing good football, improving many things. Everything was different, it was a new philosophy, and they were there.
“Then we had a tough period and we stuck together… they realised how they can be important for us and when we are together [players and supporters] fighting, we can be stronger.”
Silva was asked about Barcelona’s on-loan midfielder Andre Gomes and if he had any updates on the player’s future, especially as Spurs and Inter Milan have been linked with him too.
“No. I know all the rumours around. The most important thing is what comes from Andre.
“At this moment, he has had nothing new to say to me until now. This is the most important thing. I am 100 per cent sure when something is decided in his mind, I will be one of the first people to know. As a club, we have to do everything to sign him.”
Richarlison has also been in the news with transfer rumours linking him to Barcelona, Paris St. Germain and Atletico Madrid. Silva was also asked how important it was for the Blues to hold on to him.
“Not just Richarlison. One of the keys for us and for our fans is to keep the level we have. It will be the starting point for us will be to keep the same level we have because just in this way we can improve. Keep the level and attack the market in the key positions which we should attack and should improve our squad.
“We can step by step reach a different level as a team. And to challenge some of the other teams in PL. For me, key is to keep same level and be creative, be smart in the market to attack the right players for us because we should improve our squad.”
Finally, Silva also talked about his aspirations at Everton and how the Blues can break into the top six.
“I am a very ambitious coach but I like to look in a realistic way for everything. I know what the history of our football club is, I know our culture. But I like to be honest, we have to give the right steps to be ready to achieve to be a top four.
“I know the desire of our fans, and what our desire is also, but for us to challenge them we have to keep doing the right steps. If you finish the season with a good squad, playing good football, achieving very good results I don’t have doubts that we are a stronger team than started the season, I have no doubts.
“Our players are in a different level now to when they started the season. It is part of my job to do that. It will be tough for us, we want to keep two of our key players for us, they are on loan. We want to attack well the market. It is part of the job, the steps we have to do.
“If you finish the season strongly, you have one way – to improve. I want to improve what we did this season. That must be our target next season, to improve, let’s see what position we can finish, it’s up to us to prove it in the season. The next market will be a key for us.”