The Toffees forced Hugo Lloris into a number of saves and enjoyed more possession at White Hart Lane, but Emmanuel Adebayor struck a 65th-minute winner to keep Spurs three points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
"We started slow again, and we’ve got to find out why," Sherwood told reporters. "Hugo kept us in the game early on – we have to address it. We did the same against Manchester City and we were out of the game, and it could have happened again today.
"The contrast between first and second half was good, they clearly took it on board. I want the ball played into midfield and if someone is marked, give them the ball.
"Risk the football. I want to play with risk – I want to be responsible in responsible areas, but I want them to risk the football and get a bit of rotation in the middle, it was a bit stodgy in there."
Adebayor took his tally to seven goals for the season, and Sherwood believes the forward's displays have been influenced by the way he has been handled.
"It’s all about how he’s being managed, I think," he said. "He’s going to have sticky spells, all strikers do, but he’s got the right attitude and application and I’m just delighted with him at the moment."