Tim Howard has challenged Everton to start another unbeaten run after the international break.
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The Toffees goalkeeper could not help prevent a 3-1 Premier League defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The loss was the club’s first in the league of the season -- bringing to an end the top flight’s last unbeaten start to the campaign.
But Howard, credited with an unfortunate own goal after Sergio Aguero’s penalty hit the post and rebounded in off the back of his head, believes Everton will bounce back after seeing their six-game unbeaten run ended.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “It wasn’t a good day for us but it’s been good. We’re going into the international break and we hope when we finish the break we’ll start another run.
“We’re going to be disappointed of course but it’s a tough game away from home. City are one of the best in the country if not the best. We didn’t play particularly well and I think that’s actually a positive. If we’d have come here and given everything and played brilliantly and got a pasting, that would be tough.
“But that’s why we’re disappointed, because we didn’t play particularly well, certainly not how we’ve been playing the last six or eight weeks. We’ll take that away from the game and get better.”
Howard was critical of referee Jon Moss for awarding City a second-half penalty for a nudge by Seamus Coleman on Pablo Zabaleta, having rejected a first-half Everton appeal when Romelu Lukaku appeared to be pushed down by Matija Nastasic.
He said: “It was a soft penalty. In the build-up to that, they had won a corner and there was a handball by Aguero. It wasn’t intentional but it was a handball and it was there for the referee and the linesman to see. That then leads to bad things and those are calls that need to go right. But either way in the end it’s a soft penalty.
“I think the fact it’s down the City end, sometimes referees get influenced by those things and unfortunately it went against us. I don’t think it was right. In big games you need big calls to go your way, but at least you need the balance and we didn’t get that.”
Howard is in the United States squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers, against Jamaica in Kansas City on Friday and away to Panama next Tuesday. Jurgen Klinsmann’s side have already qualified for next summer’s finals in Brazil.