Roberto Martinez believes Everton created more than enough chances to win the Capital One Cup clash with Fulham.
The Blues took an early lead through Steven Naismith and threatened throughout but were eventually undone by second half strikes from Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent.
It was a disappointing outcome after such a splendid first-half display by the visitors.
“One of the things it’s fair to say is that we never had a little bit of luck today,” claimed the boss.
“The first-half was outstanding, very, very dominant but the only criticism is that we didn’t take more chances. I felt we created enough chances to win the game and that’s why it’s so disappointing not to get through.”
Even after falling behind, Martinez’s men had opportunities to force extra time – but it wasn’t to be.
“It was one-way traffic in the last ten minutes and it was very pleasing, the manner that we adapted, the way we changed the shape a little bit and the personnel,” he said. “We made changes as they were needed and we looked like a really strong side, clearly we knew what we were doing and that’s credit to the players.”
Martinez made eight changes to the team that had started at West Ham at the weekend and he said this of the players who came in.
“Some of the players looked really sharp and will benefit from it. They need to be playing games to be able to help the team. Darron Gibson has been a long time away injured so it was really important that he had some playing time. John Stones performed really really well and Gerard Deulofeu showed flashes of the outstanding talent that he has.
“Throughout the team it was a performance from a group of players who are ready to help the team to achieve our aims. It’s not one of those disappointing days where we didn’t do ourselves justice. I thought we performed extremely well and obviously the scoreline doesn’t reflect the full story but we should take the chances that we created.”