Everton manager Ronald Koeman has claimed his side were "afraid to play football" after they stumbled to a home draw against Apollon Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday (28 September).
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Nikola Vlasic had given the Toffees a 2-1 lead after the Cypriot side had taken the lead through Adrian Sardinero, before Hector Yuste struck an 88th minute equaliser to earn 10-man Apoel a point.
The draw leaves Everton bottom of their group after two games and Koeman rued his team's inability to close the game down.
"The feeling is a defeat today, not even a draw. It is really disappointing," he said. "We started poorly without any confidence and making a lot of mistakes but we had a good reaction. The second half was much better, we controlled the game and had big chances to score a third."
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a glorious chance to win the game in injury time but could only head straight at the keeper, a miss which according to Koeman epitomised his side's lack of confidence in the final third.
"It is football and sometimes when you are struggling maybe we are too afraid to play football," he added. "That is difficult when your body is not full of confidence. I cannot say they are not running or fighting, but they are scared to play forward. A win today makes it different."
"Sometimes there are not enough options for the forwards but, in that case, play the ball into the channels instead of the goalkeeper. We know the fans like us to go forward, not back, back, back. Then it is difficult to create chances."
Everton host Burnley on Sunday (1 October), hoping to secure a second consecutive Premier League win on home turf after overcoming Bournemouth two won last weekend. The Toffees are 14th on the table with just seven points from six games and failure to win would heap further pressure on Koeman, who has already come under severe criticism this season.
The Dutchman spent £140m on players in the summer but has failed to replace Romelu Lukaku after his £75m move to Manchester United and has seen his side score just four league goals so far this season.
Everton have looked extremely ponderous going forward and Koeman has been criticised for deploying Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen all at the same time. While very good on the ball, the three summer signings are not blessed with pace and some have suggested Koeman should instead opt to play Calwert-Lewin up-front.