Alex McLeish insisted Yerry Mina and Michael Keane will be “hurt” by their uncharacteristically poor performances for Everton against Tottenham on Wednesday.
The former Rangers and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the centre-back duo were miles off their usual best for the 5-4 FA Cup thriller at Goodison Park.
The defensive mainstays kept their places in the starting XI for the visit of Spurs but struggled to keep the Lilywhites at bay, especially from set-pieces.
Three of Tottenham’s four goals came as a result of corners, while Jose Mourinho’s men also had a number of chances from headers in the box during open play.
McLeish admitted it was not like Keane and Mina to struggle to cope with aerial battles and insisted they would have been left licking their proverbial wounds at the full-time whistle.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It was very unlike them and they will be hurt by that.
“Whether it was just taking their eye off the ball, thinking it’s not a Premier league game it’s, it’s only the cup, I don’t think they would think like that.
“It’s been a bad day at the office in terms of defending and normally they would be gobbling those aerial battles up all day long. That was not their top performance of the season.”
Keane has been one of the first names on the Everton teamsheet this season and has missed just two games from a possible 28 across all competitions.
He has often been joined by Mina at the heart of the defence, with the Colombia international having made 22 appearances, 18 of which have come in the Premier League.