Dyche hopes change of routine can drive Everton to safety – ‘they wanted to play their part’

News Desk
Liverpool, UK. 18th Feb, 2023. Sean Dyche manager of Everton during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton head coach Sean Dyche is hoping that a change of routine can give them a boost as they look to stay in the Premier League.

The Toffees are in the bottom three after winning just one win of their last nine matches his side are in the bottom three.

They have performed well at Goodison Park, though. They have picked up 18 of the 28 points on home turf in the Premier League in 2022/23 and they host Everton on Thursday night.

Since Dyche arrived in late January players have driven to the match in their own cars but following pleas from supporters’ groups they will arrive in a coach so fans can repeat last year’s late-season welcomes by lining Goodison Road armed with flags and smoke canisters.

“All Evertonians, not just those who come in the stadium, know just how important this run of games is,” said Dyche.

“They are all important games but of course, this last clutch of games are bound to be important because of what it means.

“It (the coach welcome) was well documented last season and a couple of fan groups mentioned it this season and I have a massive respect for them from what I’ve seen and heard from the fans since I’ve been here.

“They wanted to play their part, if that can make a difference, and beyond that we want the team to play their part and make a difference.

“I think it helps to create an atmosphere but the focus remains on the whistle-blowing because that alone can’t win you the game as you have to make sure you are in the right frame of mind regardless.”

Everton will be boosted by the return of midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, one of the best players since Dyche took over, following his three-match suspension for a red card against Tottenham earlier this month.

“I certainly don’t ask players to make amends for moments in a game,” added the Toffees boss when asked whether the player owed the side for his costly absence.

“You want the passion, pride and belief in that player and he’s been delivering that.

“He has been a driving force within the team unit and he was the catalyst in certain games and other players followed that.

“Now we want other players to lead it and him to be part of it.”

The match will see the return of former winger Anthony Gordon and while his acrimonious January departure may stoke up fans’ anger, Dyche does not believe it will affect his players.

“I don’t see why they get caught up in any noise about it. It was before my time here,” he said.

“That player left, other players get a chance with that player leaving. I don’t see why our players will be worried about that rather just focusing on the game.”

Dyche will make late decisions on captain Seamus Coleman and midfielder Amadou Onana after both missed the last two matches with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

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