Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is adamant his club can still qualify for Europe despite letting two points slip in their goalless draw against Brighton on Monday night.
It was clear the Toffees were feeling the loss of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin as they only managed one shot on target which came in the 71st minute.
The draw leaves the club in eighth and six points outside the all-important fifth place slot.
Ancelotti said: “Of course, it’s more difficult now, the five, but it is a point. It is a point which through good team spirit, although of course with the ball we could do better, we had difficulties to build up from the back, we missed a lot of passes.
“We were not able to reach our strikers with efficiency. I think that we are still in the fight but like I said it is more difficult. But now in the next eight games that we have to play, there’s a lot to play (for) and teams really close to us and the fight with us, we are still there.”
Everton will next play Tottenham on Friday and there could be some hope for Ancelotti’s men as the manager said he expects some injured players to return.
He added: “Of course it is a difficult moment because we have a lot of players out but I hope to recover some players for Friday and fight against Tottenham.”
Everton’s injury nightmare went from bad to worse in the match as Yerry Mina was forced off just before 60 minutes and Ancelotti said he would be out for a few weeks. The boss also confirmed midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin will not make another appearance this season.
Meanwhile, the draw took Graham Potter’s team to 15th and Brighton’s manager was happy with the performance.
Potter said: “A little bit of frustration but I think overall I’d rather focus on a lot of the good things that we did.
“I thought we had a good intent, I thought we were the team that was closest to winning. I thought we lacked a little bit in the final third in terms of decision and execution.
“In the end it’s a point for us, it’s an important point for us, a clean sheet, and we have to move forward and take that.”