Gareth Barry says Everton must use the disappointment of twice giving away the lead against AFC Bournemouth to spur them to victory in their League Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
Having thrown away a two-goal lead in the last 10 minutes of normal time, Everton looked to have snatched a vital Premier League win at the Vitality Stadium thanks to Ross Barkley’s 95th-minute goal.
But it was not to be for Roberto Martinez’s men, as the hosts raced up the other end and levelled through Junior Stanislas’ second goal of the game.
That 3-3 draw does mean though that Everton are now unbeaten in five league games heading into the clash against in-form Boro, with Aitor Karanka’s side – who knocked out Manchester United on penalties at Old Trafford in the last round – having triumphed in five of their last six Championship outings.
And Barry is well aware of the threat that Boro, second in the Championship, will pose, claiming Everton must remain focused to secure a place in the semi-finals – a stage they last reached in 2008.
“Any disappointment in football, you don’t want to dwell on it for too long,” the veteran midfielder – who is yet to start a League Cup game this season – told Everton’s official website.
“It’s a massive game for the club and you don’t get too many chances to play in semi-finals, so the guys have got to recover and focus on Tuesday’s game.
“There will be four or five thousand [Everton] fans there and they will play a major part. No matter what, we have to try and put ourselves in the hat for the next round.”
Boro, who beat Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup, maintained their fine run of form by dispatching Huddersfield Town 2-0 on Saturday.
But Karanka was far from thrilled with his side’s display at the John Smith Stadium, warning that Boro must be at their best once again to claim another Premier League scalp.
“If we play the way we did in the first half then we will lose five or six nil,” said Karanka. “We have to learn, I know the motivation will be completely different to play Everton at home.
“It’s going to be different against a Premier League team, we played really well against Manchester United and [last season] Manchester City.”
Everton are likely to be without James McCarthy [groin] after the midfielder limped off midway through the second half against Bournemouth, though Leighton Baines [ankle] could be in line to make his first appearance of the campaign.