Everton manager David Moyes has been left bitterly disappointed by the three-match suspension to midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The 25-year-old received the ban following his head-butt on Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross in last weekend’s Premier League clash.
The suspension will see Moyes’ side left light in attacking options over the Christmas period, a prospect which the Everton boss thinks could potentially damage their quest for a spot in Europe next season.
“I have spoken to him a few times about it. I said at the time that I had felt he had let us down and that hasn’t changed,” Moyes told reporters.
“We needed him. This is a busy time of the season where you do pick up injuries and suspensions. Things will happen, you may get a sending off – but you can’t do what he has done.
“He knows he has done wrong, 100 percent. He is a good lad, he is aware that he has got it wrong.”
When questioned if Fellaini’s suspension will leave the attack without any creativity, Moyes replied:
“We’ll find out. That’s why it was a big miss to lose him. We will have to try and find solutions but we don’t have loads of solutions to fix it.
“People shouldn’t be surprised if we aren’t able to solve it.”
Meanwhile, Nikica Jelavic is struggling to find his form this season, the Croatian having scored only six goals so far. But with the Christmas period being overloaded with fixtures, Moyes fears that Everton could fall away from the pack who are chasing European football next season.
“This is quite a difficult period for us, we’ve got to hang on to people’s shirt-tails if we can,” he said.
“It’s really important if you can somehow pick up the points.
“The one point (for draws) is good but we need to start trying to find a few victories out of that.”