Everton manager Sean Dyche insists his side should not be judged on their last two away matches as they prepare to travel to Nottingham Forest.
The former Burnley boss won two of his first three games at Goodison Park after taking over from Frank Lampard but has been defeated on both occasions they have left the relative safety of home.
However, those two fixtures were against Liverpool at Anfield and Premier League leaders Arsenal and Dyche said there were other teams against whom they would be expected to perform better, even if their only away win so far this season came at fellow strugglers Southampton.
“The two away games so far… I think it is fair to say Liverpool are up and down but they are still a good outfit and Arsenal are still showing what a good outfit they are,” said Dyche.
“But I would suggest statistically there are other opportunities which offer a better chance, certainly than Arsenal with their home form.”
Back-to-back defeats by Aston Villa and Arsenal have burst the positivity bubble which came with Dyche’s appointment and the club remain in the bottom three.
Goals continue to be a problem for Everton – they are the Premier League’s lowest scorers with just 17 in 25 matches – and six goals shipped in two games have undone all the good defensive work Dyche had done, but he insists there has been progress.
“I think, factually, there are some steps forward and now it is about continuing that and continuing getting rid of the bad details and adding in the good ones,” he added.
“There is improvement in that area. The mentality should be every game is a must-win. We didn’t go to Arsenal hoping something good would happen.
“There’ve been players who have been saying, ‘I am ready’. We want that to continue. We want that positive edge. That thing rubs off with players.
“Some players play in that way where they are making the difference, and that rubs off very quickly.
“We want more players to take that on and more players to join in with that mentality when people are playing right at the top of their game.”