Loss at Bolton is one of worst Everton displays - Moyes
Moyes despondent at defeat
Everton boss David Moyes bemoaned "one of the worst performances" he has seen during his nine-year reign after the 2-0 Premier League defeat at Bolton.
Goals in either half from Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge left the Toffees three points off the drop zone and prompted a gloomy appraisal from Moyes.
"We did not perform," he said. "Players who have been performing well all season probably had their poorest game.
"Maybe I have gone a bit soft on them. Perhaps I need to toughen up on them."
Moyes's side struggled to find the fluidity that had fashioned five goals in the 5-3 victory over Blackpool last weekend. But the Scot was also angered by his side's lack of competitive edge.
"The onus was on us to get the ball down and we did not do that," the Everton manager added.
"We also didn't compete hard enough. The toughness we have had I didn't think was there and it was required. We have been built on that quality."
Moyes did dispute Cahill's 10th-minute headed opener which came from a free-kick where Victor Anichebe was adjudged to have fouled Paul Robinson.
But the Toffees boss refused to blame injuries to the likes of leading goalscorer Louis Saha or his inability to capture players like Sturridge, who is on loan from Chelsea, in the transfer window.
"That is not the reason we lost the game," he told BBC Sport. "It was the players on the pitch that do it.
"Obviously it means that the manager didn't pick the right ones or select the right formation but you can't take away that Bolton showed a but more endeavour and won the big challenges in the game which were required.
"To a man not one of them stood up and was counted today, we were really below the standards we set."
Meanwhile, Bolton manager Owen Coyle claimed the form of striker Sturridge, who has scored three goals in three games, was no surprise to him.
"It is a great start but he has that in his locker, that's why we brought him to the club," said Coyle, whose team now lie eighth in the Premier League table.
"We believe he has the potential to improve... I'll give him the platform."
Having moved to the Reebok Stadium from Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in January, Sturridge is contracted to remain at the Lancashire club until the end of the season.
He scored the only goal of the game after coming on as a substitute on his debut against Wolves on 2 February, and promptly followed that up with a goal in the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham last weekend before a smart 67th-minute finish on Sunday sealed the points.
His two league starts for the Trotters have now matched the two he received in the two seasons at Chelsea following his move from Manchester City in the summer of 2009.
The 21-year-old follows in the footsteps of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at the Trotters.
And Wilshere was in attendance at the Reebok on Sunday to see some of his former team-mates, having formed a good relationship with Coyle and the club.
"I think there are terrific young players out there albeit most of them will be at the elite clubs," Coyle added.
Coyle hopes to nurture Sturridge
"If I think there are players at other clubs that we can bring into the club to continue our progress then that is what I will do.
"Jack Wilshere was sensational for us and hopefully we've helped him a little part in his journey in football, and if we can do the same with Daniel I'll be delighted.
"Hopefully I can help him with some experience or perhaps wisdom and hopefully we can impart some knowledge to him. He's certainly enjoying it so far and long may that continue."
Coyle said that he wished Zat Knight a speedy recovery after the defender left the field with knee ligament damage after a challenge with Anichebe.
The centre-back, who has been an ever-present in the league since Coyle joined Bolton in January 2010, is scheduled to have a scan and could be out for a couple of weeks.
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