Everton manager David Moyes was at a loss to explain his side’s limp performance in their 2-0 loss to Bolton on Sunday.
While admitting the Toffees deserved defeat at the Reebok, Moyes also thought referee Lee Probert’s decision to award Bolton’s Paul Robinson a free kick, which led to Bolton’s opening goal, was the wrong call.
“Bolton deserved the credit, they’ve got the points, but I don’t think we were opened up by good football,” Moyes said.
“The onus was on Everton to probably do that, and we didn’t do that. I don’t think it was a free-kick the first goal, I think it was a scandalous decision that went against us,” Moyes said.
“We gave away two really poor goals, I don’t think it was because Bolton had opened it up with a good play, I think it was a couple of, one was a free kick and one was a big kick in the box. We didn’t win the big challenges which were important.”
The Scotsman did not use injuries, such as the absence of in-form striker Louis Saha, as an excuse for his side’s flat performance.
“We just didn’t perform. We had players who have played all season who I thought played the poorest game I’ve seen them have. It wasn’t to do with the boys who weren’t here.”
Bolton manager Owen Coyle said he was looking forward to nurturing the future of on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge, who scored for the third time in as many matches in a Wanderers shirt on Sunday.
Coyle said he took on Sturridge in the transfer window to help boost the side, in a similar way he did with the acquisition of Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere last season.
“And it’s always nice to freshen when you’re short of quality, and what you have to do as Jack (Wilshere) did, and Daniel recognises that now; he has to continue that improvement, he has to take his game forward,” Coyle said.
“We can certainly try and part some knowledge, experience … ultimately it’s up to Daniel who crosses the white line to bring his top game to the game and he’s doing that.”