Everton manager Marco Silva has defended his selection policy after his side went out of the EFL Cup on penalties to Southampton.
The Toffees were held to a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes, with Theo Walcott scoring a late equaliser following the opener by Saints striker Danny Ings.
Silva, who had made seven changes to the team which beat Fulham 3-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday, refused to blame substitute Richarlison for blasting his penalty over the crossbar before Walcott had his saved by Angus Gunn.
It allowed defender Cedric Soares to seal the tie by beating Toffees goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, and Silva denied his personnel changes were to blame for the outcome.
Related: Everton Newboy Raring To Go – Silva
“It is not just him (Richarlison) to miss the penalty,” said the Portuguese. “Richarlison, even Theo, they will have all of our support to go forward. It wasn’t the first moment when one good player missed a penalty.
“If the players are kicking the penalties, it is because I take that decision. During the match we missed some chances as well and we didn’t score.
“Yes we prepared the match to win and when I took the decision to start with Bernard and (Ademola) Lookman it was because I believe they will perform in this way. They are different from Richarlison and Theo, they play more between the lines.
“I didn’t have doubts when I prepared the match. We played last Saturday, we play Saturday as well.”