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Onana admits he “must do better” but looks at the positives despite Spurs defeat

The midfielder missed a brilliant opportunity to put Everton in front at Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Amadou Onana gave an honest appraisal of his missed chance at Tottenham on Saturday, admitting that he has “to do a lot better”, but is determined to look at the positives.

Onana blazed over the bar when well placed inside the area after a rapid Everton counter-attack during the first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Demarai Gray also fired over following another quick break as Everton’s tactics to sit deep and hit on the counter nearly worked perfectly.

Frustratingly the game turned on a penalty in the second half when Harry Kane tumbled over Jordan Pickford, before dispatching the ball into the corner.

Everton offered nothing as an attacking force after that, with Pierre Emile Hojbjerg’s late deflected strike securing the points for the home side.

Reflecting on his first-half opportunity, Onana said:

“I think I have got to do better, I have got to at least bring it on target. But if you see the video when I wanted to shoot the ball just jumps a bit so I put it over but I have got to definitely do better on that.

“They [Spurs] did very well, they did not need many chances to score. I think that penalty broke us mentally down but we haven’t got time to feel sorry for ourselves we have just got to bounce back and try and bring a positive result from Newcastle.”

The result now means Everton have lost back-to-back matches against Manchester United and Tottenham, with a tricky trip to in-form Newcastle to follow on Wednesday.

Their lack of cutting edge is obvious, as it has been for most of the season, but Onana is still looking for the positives.

“I think we lost against two very big opponents in the Prem. The game today went well, the gameplan worked obviously so we can definitely build on that.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Gray also expressed disappointment at his missed opportunity and hopes the quick turnaround before the Newcastle game will work in their favour.

“I have the opportunity in the first half to put that in and maybe it changes the game.

“I think coming to Spurs away is always going to be difficult, but I think we made it difficult for them. The penalty was a bit unfortunate. There’s a lot of positives to take from the game, but it’s still disappointing.

“There’s a lot of positives to take, still a lot to work on and I think it starts on the training pitch. We weren’t great against United on the ball, but we showed character and that’s been big for us this season. The positive thing for us is that we have another game on Wednesday and that’s a good opportunity to try and get some points on the board.”

Asked whether England captain Kane had dived for the penalty, Gray added:

“I think if there’s any chance of contact in the box an attacker might go down and whether it’s a penalty or not, it was given and it’s gone now. That changed the game for us, but that’s for the referee to make decisions.”