Everton defender Conor Coady says they are in “a bad place” but that they showed they are fighting for manager Frank Lampard despite defeat at Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Lampard and Everton went into the game under severe pressure after a 4-1 thrashing by Brighton on Tuesday left them in the Premier League drop zone.
This was a much better display, with only a Marcus Rashford stoppage-time penalty sealing a 3-1 win for United .
“We need to keep fighting,” said Coady.
The 29-year-old, who pulled Everton level after Antony’s fourth-minute opener before scoring an own goal, added: “We are in a bad way, bad place and everyone wants to get out of it.
“We came here with a plan and stuck to it. To lose the game to an own goal and penalty, it is gutting.
“We are not enjoying it and need to get out of it quickly. The manager is fantastic with all of us, outstanding, and he understands the football club. We need to keep listening to him.”
More than 9,000 Everton fans made the trip to Old Trafford and they applauded the effort of their team, who had a Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal ruled out for offside by VAR when they were 2-1 down, at full time.
Attention then turned to protests against the board, with banners held up saying “sack the board” and “no communication, no plan, no vision”, but Coady says that is “not our domain” as players.
“We focus on trying to get results, we love this football club and we need to keep fighting,” Coady, who is on a season-long loan from Wolves, added.
“At the minute, we are not a team that can play pretty football but we go out there and give 200%.”
The performance, if not the result, was encouraging for Lampard, who was keen to bat away questions about his future before crucial Premier League games against fellow strugglers Southampton and West Ham United.
“That’s not under my control. It’s not for me to focus on that,” Lampard told ITV.
“It’s for me to focus on what I saw tonight and that was a performance that every manager wants with the attitude of the team, and the focus.
“This league can change very quickly and when you’re in a difficult run you have to work really hard to get out of it, but it can change.
“I don’t want to talk about my future, I only want to talk about the players and how well they played. My focus is on this team and getting a result against Southampton.”
Asked about the reaction of the fans at full-time, Lampard added: “When the players perform with the spirit of an Everton player, the fans will react to that, even in defeat, and that says a lot.
“The game next week is at Goodison and we need to make the fans feel about the team like they did tonight – and then go out and try to win the game.”
Another negative for Everton was the second-half injury sustained by midfielder Alex Iwobi after a tackle by Tyrell Malacia, and Lampard said: “It felt and looked bad, we are hoping it is ankle ligament damage and not more.”