04 Mar Seamus Coleman understands Everton fans’ frustrations after more away misery
Seamus Coleman assured Everton fans that the players understand their frustrations after another away defeat against Burnley.
Cenk Tosun’s first goal in English football eventually counted for nothing as Burnley fought back to claim a 2-1 victory and end a 12-match winless run.
It was a sixth consecutive away defeat for Everton, who have won just once on the road in the Premier League in 14 months.
The Toffees supporters made their feelings clear, directing their ire towards manager Sam Allardyce, particularly for two second-half substitutions.
Coleman said: “They’re travelling all round the country supporting us. We know what it means to them.
“Of course you can understand their frustration. They’re paying good money.
“It’s up to us on Saturday to put in a performance for our home fans, and then kick on and try to win away from home. The important thing is winning games.”
The full-back was playing just his third match of the season after his long-awaited comeback from a horror double leg break was cut short by a thigh injury.
He said: “It’s great to be back. When you’re out for so long, you’re thinking: ‘I just want to be back.’ But as soon as you’re back and you lose a game, it’s just back to that same old feeling.
“The first half was good. It wasn’t good enough from us in the second half.
“Burnley put the two up front and made it difficult for us. They’re the games we need to be winning, especially coming here and knowing that Burnley haven’t won in a few games.
“We thought it would have been a great opportunity, but unfortunately for us, by our standards, we weren’t at it.”
Had Everton won, they would have moved level on points with seventh-placed Burnley in the race for a possible European spot, and Allardyce could not hide his frustration at the way his team allowed the game to slip away.
Despite the improvement in results since he took over, Allardyce said of Everton’s season: “It’s already drifting, there’s no doubt about that. It’s been drifting for some considerable time.”
The prospect of Burnley playing Europa League football is looking more and more plausible – not that anyone at Turf Moor is getting carried away.
Striker Chris Wood, who scored the winner, said: “That’s not for us to think about or dream. We’re not looking any further forward than West Ham next week.”
Wood’s introduction at half-time changed the game, with Everton unable to cope with the dual threat of the New Zealander and Ashley Barnes up front.
The 26-year-old was marking his return after more than two months out with a knee injury and showed how badly he had been missed.
He said: “It took a couple of setbacks, which was unfortunate, then it rolled into a longer one than we were expecting, which was frustrating for the staff and for me personally. I was gutted to be out for so long.
“For any player, it’s just important to get back playing again. Scoring for a striker comes naturally.
“It’s nice to come back with a goal but more importantly it’s nice to have the three points in the bag.”
Wood and Barnes sit at the top of Burnley’s scoring charts with six goals each, and the former has sympathy with defences trying to cope with the physical challenge of his strike partner.
“I just think they don’t like playing against Barnesy,” said Wood. “I’d hate to play against him.
“He’s a very strong-minded character and he’s fantastic in that way.
“Hopefully we can cause a lot more problems between now and the end of the season.”