TIM HOWARD admits Everton were victims of a Manchester United backlash after being hustled to defeat.
David Moyes’s side saw their hopes of Champions League qualification suffer a setback with a 2-0 loss at the Premier League leaders on Sunday.
Everton had beaten United on the opening day of the season at Goodison having dealt United’s title challenge a major blow last season with a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford.
And Howard believes Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were determined to exact revenge on their North West rivals.
“They don’t like to lose,” said the United States international. “They came to our place and took a loss, and I’m sure that was at the back of their minds.
“Those things happen and you have got to roll with it. Now we have to focus on our next 12 games because this is behind us now.”
Marouane Fellaini, United’s chief tormentor in recent times, was shackled by an unusual man-marking midfield role from Phil Jones.
And Howard, who made his 250th Premier League appearance for the Goodison outfit at the weekend, admits United’s high-pressure approach nullified Everton’s dangermen.
“You know that when you come away from home to Manchester United you are always going to have a long afternoon and you hope that it goes your way – but it didn’t,” said the goalkeeper.
“A gentleman said to me how difficult it was for Everton to come here and get a result, and I reminded him how difficult it was for any Premier League team.
“It’s a tough place to play – they have got fantastic players and they make it very difficult. We didn’t perform as well as we possibly could have but that was down to the opposition.
“The one thing that stood out for me was that they pressed us all over the pitch. They pressed us high up with three (players) and never let us get started.
“When they got it into our big players, the guys who make us go, they made it difficult. Across the board, they did a really good job at closing down.”
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Everton reserve defender Johan Hammar has joined Blue Square Premier side Stockport County on a month-long loan.