Sean Dyche believes that his team’s bid for Premier League safety has been derailed by a softness that has crept into their game, writes the IrishNews.
With only one win in their last 10 matches, the 19th-placed Toffees are facing the prospect of losing their top-flight status after 69 years. Monday’s game against fellow strugglers Leicester is a must-win for them. However, Dyche, who secured six points from his first three games after taking over from Frank Lampard in late January, is confident that his team can rekindle the kind of performance that saw them beat Premier League leaders Arsenal in his maiden match in charge, and save themselves from relegation.
Although the first 25 minutes of Thursday’s match against Newcastle may have been encouraging, Everton failed to trouble goalkeeper Nick Pope, and their second-half capitulation was hugely damaging to their already-fragile confidence. Everton are currently the lowest scorers in England’s top five divisions, with only 25 goals in 33 games.
According to Dyche, his team had made progress earlier, but they have regressed again and need to improve quickly as they have five crucial matches coming up.
“I don’t use the word worry, it’s realities. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and I saw it against Fulham (where they lost 3-1 having got back on level terms). It’s a correction that needs to be made.
“There’s no point worrying because worrying isn’t going to solve anything, work solves things: work on the training pitch, work with the players. That’s what takes away any problems.
“I think we can do it. A very similar side (to the one which lost to Newcastle) beat Arsenal in my first game so there’s the evidence it can be done.
“It’s bringing back that edge and performance.”
“It is fair to say the thing that gets in the way is the details of what’s going on, the tightness if you’re not doing well,” he added.
“The next one (game) will be a case of saying ‘right lads, a lot of the basic principles of what we are doing are correct but the details are massively important and every detail counts’.
“Every time you get into the box you have to believe you are going to score a goal. Those are the details which are going to get you a win.
“There is only so much we can change. There’s a format here that can work, it’s proven to work. We need a sharpness to that performance.”
He concluded: “Whatever game it is my mindset is to take it on, that’s what I learned as a player, regardless of it being a big game or a small game”.