Everton players are all behind Marco Silva – Mason Holgate

Mason Holgate insists Everton’s players remain fully behind under-fire manager Marco Silva following the club’s fifth defeat in six Premier League games.

The Toffees controlled vast periods of Saturday’s match at Brighton before falling to a morale-sapping 3-2 loss after conceding a controversial late penalty and a stoppage-time own goal.

Silva’s side began the season with aspirations of breaking into the top six but are languishing just above the relegation zone with more than a quarter of the campaign gone.

Defender Holgate, who made his first top-flight start for 13 months at the Amex Stadium after spending part of last season on loan at Championship side West Brom, is adamant Everton’s squad still support their Portuguese coach.

“Yeah, a hundred per cent. I think it shows by the last two performances we’ve put out,” said Holgate.

“Last week (a 2-0 win over West Ham) we were all unbelievable, and then this week we were doing really well and then there’s a decision (the penalty) in there that’s just completely flipped the game on its head.

“We’ve not been happy with our results but I think the result last week lifted spirits.

“Like I said, there’s a huge turning point in the game (on Saturday) that when you’ve not got your luck things like that happen.

“But we’ll keep going, we’ll get together again, we’ll lift ourselves.”

Brighton benefited from the first top-flight spot-kick to be awarded on the advice of the video assistant referee after Michael Keane inadvertently stood on the foot of Aaron Connolly.

Seagulls striker Neal Maupay coolly converted from 12 yards, before Lucas Digne compounded Silva’s misery by diverting into his own net four minutes into added time.

Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin looked to have put Everton on course for a first away win since March when he converted Holgate’s pass after Adam Webster’s own goal cancelled out Pascal Gross’ free-kick.

Former England Under-21 international Holgate, who was selected in place of the injured Yerry Mina against the Seagulls, accepts results must improve.

“We know we’ve got to be picking up more points away from home, it’s obvious,” said the 23-year-old.

“But we also need to be picking up points in general, home and away.

“It’s a game of football whether you are at home or away so it’s not something that’s on our minds but we know it’s got to be better.”

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