Everton's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League suffered another setback on Thursday evening, but goalkeeper Jordan Pickford says the team have to "keep believing" in themselves to finish the season strongly.
The Toffees had picked up seven out of a possible nine points since the restart, including back-to-back wins against Norwich City and Leicester City, but their European ambitions have suffered a setback in the last two games.
A disappointing defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday evening was followed up by a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Thursday, which leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s side sitting 11th in the table with four games remaining.
We never give up and we try to win, says Pickford
Pickford was starting his 110th consecutive Premier League game for the Blues on Thursday and made a string of good stops to keep the Saints out in the first-half.
Danny Ings put the visitors ahead shortly after the half-hour mark, but a stunning pass from Lucas Digne and a moment of brilliance from Brazil international Richarlison saw the hosts equalise on the stroke of half-time.
The England shot-stopper admitted that the team aren’t where they want to be just yet, but the second-half performance was much improved.
“I don’t think we were quite at the races in the first half, to be honest, as a group, as a unit and where we want to be as a club,” Pickford told the official club website.
“But we never give up and we try to win.
“It was a great goal for us, playing out from the back with about five passes and then a good finish from Richy.
“We were much better in the second half. You can see we’re an Everton team and will always give 100 per cent.
“We need to keep believing in ourselves that we can be winning these games.”
Everton face a crucial game on Sunday as they travel to take on a Wolves side, who have ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League.