Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth is hoping his temporary side's spirited performance during their 2-1 Carabao Cup exit to Chelsea on Wednesday evening at Stamford Bridge is enough to turn their season's fortunes around.
A superb first-half header from the Londoners' Antonio Rudiger and a sensational stoppage-time strike courtesy of Willian was simply too much for the Merseysiders to overcome during a difficult evening.
They left the Premier League holders' once-fortress with pride very much in-tact, following a determined second-half display which saw opposing Blues goalkeeper Willy Caballero be forced into a number of fine saves from Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon, Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas before Dominic Calvert-Lewin found the breakthrough, albeit too late.
But Unsworth is hoping the improvement he saw from Everton will be enough to spur them on to better things when they return to Premier League action away to Leicester City this weekend.
“Hopefully we will be as committed as that in every game that I am in charge of”, the 44-year-old told the club's official website.
“We want to get on a winning run but we can’t be where we are and expect to win every game. You have got to start with a performance.
“We started with a great display tonight but we want to know go and start a winning streak. But when I see and hear older pros helping the young lads out like they did, then it makes me quite excited to take us forward and work with everybody.
“We had a game plan and the players stuck to that. I am very proud of them. Nobody likes losing but I saw so much to work with in a great, committed performance.
“I’m pleased but not too pleased because we have lost the game. The players have gone over the white line and put in a committed display. I am sure every Evertonian watching that, be it here or at home, was proud of that.”