Under-pressure Everton boss Ronald Koeman insists his future should not be in doubt despite the Toffees suffering a morale-sapping fifth defeat in eight matches against Burnley.
Former Derby County midfielder Jeff Hendrick netted the only goal of the game, rounding off a fabulous team move, as the Clarets added to the mounting pressure on Koeman.
Everton’s latest setback was met by a chorus of boos at the final whistle and the defeat leaves the Merseysiders two places and two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone, while victory saw Burnley rise to sixth.
“Of course we have to improve in winning games. I know that. If there is no commitment and no aggression then that is maybe a reason to think about my future but I thank the players for their commitment today,” said Koeman.
“I have experience and I know if you win that your life on a daily basis is different. If you lose of course it is not nice. Now we have two weeks for an international break after a defeat like today. But that is life and you have to accept it.
“We will continue and I will try to do the best for my job. All the stuff and the other questions are not in my hands.”
Koeman, who opted to drop ex-England captain Wayne Rooney to the substitutes’ bench, also suggested the £140m spent during the summer should not count against him when judgements about the Toffees’ season are made.
“It is so easy in this situation to speak about money,” added the Dutchman. “We have a lot of money and we invested some money. In my opinion, it is all about the difference in spending on transfers. It is negative.
“We signed a young goalkeeper [Jordan Pickford for an initial £25m], he’s doing well and he will improve. We signed young players and we have a lot of young players in the squad performing for Everton. That is the way we like to continue.”
Burnley’s winner arrived on 21 minutes. Following a composed passage of possession, Hendrick side-stepped midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin before guiding a shot beyond Pickford. Burnley have now taken eight points from a possible 12 at Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.
“There are no Barcelona statements, I can assure you,” said manager Sean Dyche. “I have spoken recently about the flexibility and how the team can operate in different manners.
“First-half we attempted to play. Second-half we had to defend and that is what makes a good side. We are not brilliant but we are learning.
“Away from home to have had the start we have had, I don’t think anyone could see that coming. We have a little bit more assuredness going to these grounds.”