Koeman remains upbeat despite Everton's defeat to Tottenham

Ronald Koeman believes his Everton side showed great ‘character’ during their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.

The Dutchman admitted the Blues lost to “a better side on the day” – ruling out any doubt over the team’s determination throughout the encounter.

Everton had their nine-game unbeaten run in the league halted by a Harry Kane double, before Dele Alli cancelled out a Romelu Lukaku strike with just ten minutes left on the clock. Substitute Enner Valencia netted a second deep into injury time, but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback for the visitors.

A good start went unrewarded

Koeman upheld how Everton “started well”, but admitted how “1-0 made more it difficult”. There’s no doubt over Spurs’ strength as a team – despite crashing out of the Europa League in the hands of Belgian opposition, Gent.

The Blues boss acknowledged that his side “fought until the last second but made some mistakes”, and didn’t shy away from recognising that “at this level you need to do a bit better.”

Unbeaten run

Koeman’s last league loss as manager came before the turn of the new year – after Sadio Mane’s late strike condemned the Blues to defeat in the Merseyside Derby.

The 53-year old believed his side still showed “good organisation and had some counter-attack chances” but to succeed, recognised he needed “a bit more composure on the ball”.

Pressing for a late equaliser

Near the dying embers of the game, Everton pressed for an equaliser - but Alli's strike from a Harry Winks free kick ruled out any potential come back.

Koeman believed they "had a chance to get a point", but admitted taking into account Spurs' quality, "it would not have been deserved but that's football".