Howard - Not good enough

Everton keeper disappointed with display following Bolton defeat

Tim Howard: Believes Everton have to improve after losing to Bolton

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Tim Howard has urged Everton to respond in the right manner after his freak goal proved in vain against Bolton on Wednesday night.

Goalkeeper Howard opened the scoring for the Toffees at Goodison Park when he launched a huge kick downfield which - assisted by the wind - travelled towards the Wanderers box and bounced over opposite number Adam Bogdan into the net.

Howard was congratulated by his team-mates but his own celebrations were very muted and he admitted after the match that he had great sympathy for Bogdan.

The main point of interest for the American in his assessment of the game was how Everton managed to surrender their lead to go down 2-1.

Everton's advantage lasted only four minutes before David Ngog slotted home the equaliser with a smart finish, and the Toffees eventually ended up empty-handed as Bolton skipper and Chelsea target Gary Cahill sealed victory for Wanderers by smashing home the winner with 12 minutes remaining.

By that stage, the hosts had seen three of their players - Phil Jagielka, his replacement Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman - limp off.

No excuses

Howard feels the loss of the trio was important, but would not use it as an excuse for the defeat and blasted the performance as 'not good enough'

"The changes hurt us, we had to make some key substitutions," Howard said.

"I think it was tough for Jack to get in the game, then he had to come off. And Ossie is one of the guys we look for to solidify things in midfield and he had to come off.

"Losing Jags was mentally difficult for us because he's our rock. It didn't help but it's not an excuse.

"We need to look at ourselves in the mirror because it wasn't good enough, we were all kind of lost for words.

"It was very poor and that's why we're all so bitterly disappointed. At the very least we needed a point from that game, that was the minimum."