New Everton manager Ronald Koeman tasted defeat for the first time since he took over at Goodison Park, as the Toffees fell 2-0 to Norwich in the third round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
Former Everton forward Steven Naismith and Josh Murphy scored for Norwich, as the Championship side upset the Premier League side. Having made six changes to his starting lineup, Koeman didn’t want to hang out any players after the loss.
“Of course I’m not happy about the final result because in cup football you don’t get a second chance,” Koeman said. “But I can’t criticize my players because they did everything to score the goal.
“We had enough chances to score the goal but we did not. You can make it difficult, but football is about scoring goals and, as you saw with the first goal for Norwich, you need a bit of luck.
“I don’t organize parties after 13 points from five games or have gripes after tonight. It’s football and we have to accept it. We are disappointed but from [Wednesday] we will prepare for the game against Bournemouth and we go on.”
Tom Cleverley, Mason Holgate, Ramiro Funes Mori, Aaron Lennon, Gerard Deulofeu, and Enner Valencia came into the side that lost to Norwich, who had made 10 changes of their own.
“All of them worked very hard tonight,” Koeman said. “It’s always difficult for these players. They did not play a lot at the start of the season and you can’t analyse them by one match.
“Everybody is working hard to get the chance and to play, but it’s the whole team performance. If you see the second goal, it was a great goal but bad defending from four or five players – some who have played regularly.
“It’s always the whole team that is doing well or is not clinical enough. But, once again, I’m not disappointed in my players.
“It’s worse if you think the team did not work hard, did not press or did not do what we spoke about before the game – then it’s a problem. But this is not a problem tonight.”