Everton defender Mason Holgate admits the players were determined to get something out of the match with Tottenham after Andre Gomes’ devastating injury but their dramatic late draw still felt like a defeat.
The Portugal international will have surgery on Monday after an horrific fracture dislocation of his right ankle late in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Everton were trailing to Dele Alli’s goal but deep into the 12 minutes of time added on for Gomes to receive treatment substitute Cenk Tosun snatched an equaliser.
Holgate said the players felt they owed it to their injured team-mate.
“It’s hard to cope with. I have been on the pitch for two, I saw James McCarthy’s as well, and both were the same in that everything goes flat,” said Holgate, referring to his former team-mate’s lower leg double fracture in January 2018.
“You just have to get together and make a stand as a team but the game goes flat and you can feel the whole mood changes.
“It is hard when something like that happens to get going again but we showed fight and went again.
“But it shows what we are about as a team. We got together and I think it drove us on a bit more once we got going, trying to do it for him.
“It was really flat (in the dressing room). It was like we had been beaten.
“He is all our friend and our team-mate so we are all gutted and wishing him the best.
“We have all felt the pain he has felt and we are all feeling really bad and in a low place but it is about us getting together when he comes back into the training ground and trying to make it as positive as possible for him.”
That Everton were able to force an equaliser was a credit to the players in the circumstances as many were visibly distraught, although Tottenham’s players were also affected with Son Heung-min – who was sent off for the tackle after initially being shown a yellow card – in tears.
Unfortunately it did not alter the club’s overall circumstances with just one win in seven league matches leaving them 17th, just three points above the bottom three.
In 25 league matches under Marco Silva Everton have yet to win a game when they have gone behind but Holgate wanted to take positives from the performance.
“Team spirit is improving now. We got together. We weren’t happy with a draw, we wanted the win, but we took it,” added the defender.
“I think we all rallied together in the last bit of the game. After a slow start we warmed into it, had a few chances, and were coming into the game more and more and I think that showed.
“Obviously they nicked one but in other times this season once that has happened we have struggled to break down teams but we stayed strong, stayed together, and we looked dangerous and nicked a goal.”