Under-pressure Everton manager Roberto Martinez claimed his side showed “rustiness” during their 1-1 Premier League draw with Watford.
The visitors took the lead in first-half stoppage time at Vicarage Road courtesy of James McCarthy’s first goal of the campaign, but that advantage lasted just over a minute as Jose Holebas headed in at the other end on the stroke of half-time.
Both Watford and Everton – who had lost four and three games on the bounce respectively before Saturday’s clash – had chances to seal the victory after the interval, with Romelu Lukaku hitting the bar late on before Joel Robles pulled off a great save to deny Ben Watson.
However, Martinez – whose position at Everton has come under increased scrutiny from the fans following their poor performance in the league this term – believes that there are several positives to take.
“We had to work really hard for it. It was a good game, two teams with a lot of energy playing on the front foot. Watford were at their very best today,” he told BBC Sport.
“It’s a disappointment to concede from a dead ball situation so close to half-time and because of the nature of the goal, the deflection. We were close to leading at half-time, where we could have refocused.
“We never allowed Watford to regain momentum [in the second half]. We were strong and the amount of chances we created, we showed a little bit of rustiness from the last few games.
“Another day we would have got the winning goal. We had many good individual performances, and at the back we dealt with the front two of Watford really well and we had a good focus.”