Brentford head coach Thomas Frank has suggested that Sean Dyche has Everton “in a fine place” despite recent negativity before their game this weekend.
Dyche takes his under-fire team to the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday. Everton have failed to win any of their opening five Premier League games and have picked up just one point so far this season.
The Merseyside club in the middle of a proposed takeover by American investment firm 777 Partners, while Dyche is facing scrutiny over his leadership and the direction of the squad.
Frank, though, is in no doubt of what sort of challenge Brentford will be up against this weekend.
“Sean Dyche is very experienced. He is a very good manager and I like him as a person,” the Brentford head coach said at a press conference.
“He is not shaken and believes in what he is doing. He will be aware of the need to gets points and I am convinced that he will find a way.
“Looking at performances, it looks like they are still in a fine place.”
The Toffees were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal last time out and Frank has seen enough to know the type of performance which will be required if his side are to produce a similar result.
“Everton play with high intensity – they play direct, and we need to be aware of the second balls and close down crosses well,” Frank said.
“On the flip side, we need to be very good in the final third, in terms of the final pass and attacking the gaps in the box.”
Brentford lost their first Premier League game this season last weekend when they went down 1-0 at Newcastle.
Three of the Bees’ matches have ended in draws – and Frank knows the margins are slim.
“Every game in the Premier League is so difficult,” he said.
“We have played five games, won one, with three draws – each one of those draws we could have won, but we need to get over the line.”
Ivan Toney returned to training this week as the striker continues his Football Association ban for breaching gambling rules, which still has four months remaining.
“It has been very good to have him back in,” Frank said.
“He had that hamstring injury in the final games of last season, but he is fully fit now which means we’ve got four months to focus on improving him.
“It is different to (the return of) an injured player, so we have to do it differently, we want to focus on his development.”
Brentford must plan to be without defender Rico Henry for probably the rest of the season after due it was confirmed his knee injury sustained at Newcastle would require surgery.
“It is a big loss for us, he is a key player, there is no doubt about that,” Frank said.
“Mostly I feel for him. I think he has done so well so far this season.
“In my opinion, I’m not the head coach of the national team of England, but he must have been very close to being picked for Euro 2024 – that is, of course, out of the question now.
“Unfortunately, that is part of football. We will find a solution and make sure we put 11 good players out there and a good team out there this weekend.”