Our head coach laments the cost of individual mistakes after a Premier League set-back on Merseyside…

Having given his verdict on his team’s 1-0 defeat on Sunday afternoon at Goodison Park and already highlighted a recently ongoing problem of conceding goals and making individual mistakes, Thomas Tuchel was asked if an issue in the performance was the ball not sticking when it reached the Chelsea attack.‘No, the issue is we do not have enough clean sheets,’ he replied succinctly, the answer added to earlier ones making it clear where he believes the current problems lie.It was our captain Cesar Azpilicueta who made the unfortunate error that led to a goal this time, the only one of the game and scored just after half-time to the delight of a raucous Goodison.

Having not underestimated the challenge of facing an Everton side fighting for their Premier League lives and managed by our former boss Frank Lampard, our current head coach was clearly very unhappy with how the game turned out and especially in the context of other recent matches, including on Thursday at Manchester United when we gave away a lead to draw 1-1.‘We knew what was coming but like in the last games we have struggled to keep clean sheets,’ Tuchel said. ‘In the last four matches we have one clean sheet and that was against West Ham and that is the only win we have, and this is of course very disappointing.‘It was a different game against Man U. It was more open, we found the spaces, we were more fluid, we created a lot of chances and finally scored late and then conceded straightaway. Today was more like the game against West Ham when an opponent defends deep and it was hard to find spaces in the first half.‘Against West Ham we had a clean sheet and we simply played without any big mistake and it gave us the chance to score late. If you go behind in an atmosphere and an opponent like this [at Everton], and you install belief and emotion in the stadium, and belief in the opposing team, you struggle and that is what happened.

‘We give a goal away. That is the worst thing that can happen to you in this atmosphere and this situation. It is our responsibility and it happens too often. We struggle to play without big mistakes and that is why we struggle to have results.’Tuchel wished the referee had managed the game in a way that would have been stricter on some of the opposition’s physical play but his side had been ready for it, which he again emphasised is why it was so important to keep focus and avoid slip-ups.Looking at this slip results-wise in the wider context of the top-four race, Tuchel had this to say:‘I said it many weeks ago, I never feel safe and it does not matter if we are in a race for the top one, the top two, top three or top four, it does not matter what race we are in, it is not enough to have four points from four games.‘So we have to take care of ourselves and at the moment we don’t get the points when we play very good and deserve more, and we lose when we play okay, and this is a bad mix.’

Tuchel was also asked if fireworks let off outside the team hotel last night had an effect on the team.‘Absolutely not,’ he stressed.