Sam Allardyce blamed Everton’s lacklustre finishing for their 1-0 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Troy Deeney’s 79th-minute goal was enough to secure victory for the hosts on an evening when their visitors missed the chance to move up to seventh in the Premier League.
And Allardyce, who saw Michael Keane and Oumar Niasse squander good opportunities, was left frustrated by his side’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal.
“You squander your opportunities and you pay the price, it’s as simple as that,” Allardyce said.
“We lost the game 1-0. We should have come off with a 0-0. Our problem away from home is that we’re not picking up the results to guarantee us safety. We didn’t have a finisher on the pitch to put the ball in the back of the net.
“Michael Keane’s header: open goal. Best chance of the game. Oumar (Niasse) at the back post, totally miskicked the ball.
“Deeney’s goal was more our mix-up than great creative play. It was a terrible goal to give away at that stage. I thought we were going to nick an equaliser at the end but we didn’t even manage that.”
Allardyce introduced January signing Cenk Tosun in the second half in an attempt to inspire his side, but the former Besiktas striker missed a good chance in the closing stages, forcing a smart save from Orestis Karnezis.
When asked substitute Tosun’s performance, Allardyce responded: “Hopefully that will improve and he will end up doing what we need. Score goals, particularly away from home.”