Tim Howard does not need too much thought to pinpoint the root of Everton’s Premier League woes after a third-straight league draw, highlighting the team’s deficiencies at set-pieces.
Howard has seen his side concede set-piece goals in three consecutive Premier League draws against AFC Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City.
Ryan Hoolahan bundled the ball over the line two minutes into the second half after Everton failed to deal with Robert Brady’s corner, much to the disappointment of United States international goalkeeper Howard.
“It’s something that needs to be sorted out. We’ve conceded too many set pieces and too many set piece goals,” Howard said.
“Team have worked to that we are maybe not very good at defending set pieces so we have to start doing a much better job.
“We are trying not to panic about it, but it is a concern. There’s no magic spell that will put it right, we just need to show a bit more gumption.”
While set-pieces have proven a constant source of frustration this season, Howard said he was happy with the team’s overall performances and quality.
“We know we are good enough to put ourselves into winning positions. At the moment it’s just the about small margins,” Howard said.
“I’ve been in Everton teams in the past when you don’t know where your next win is coming from. That’s not the case with this team.”
Everton’s set-piece struggles have been offset by the miraculous form of Romelu Lukaku at the other end of the pitch, with the Belgian striker netting his 15th goal of the season to score in his seventh-straight game, equalling a 40-year-old club record set by Bob Latchford.