Sean Dyche has promised an Everton side “that works, that can fight and wear the badge with pride”, acknowledging that the club owes something to the fans after a difficult few months.
Dyche was finally confirmed as Everton manager on Monday and said one of his priorities was harnessing the power of the Toffees fans by giving them a team that they could be proud of. However, the former Burnley boss also acknowledged he will not get a free pass and needs to earn the respect of the Goodison faithful.
The Grand Old Lady has been a tortuous place in recent weeks with the fans increasingly and understandably angry at the club’s decline.
Dyche is not stupid and will know that a bouncing Goodison will give him and the players a better chance of moving away from the bottom of the Premier League table, so getting them onside has to be one of his first jobs.
“The relationship with the fans is very important, especially for me. I am under no illusions, I have to earn my right here as a manager, and many have done it.
“You don’t come into a club and get a free start. I have to show them what I am about, what I can deliver, but then you actually have to deliver it.
“That takes time. You have to get the team working in the way that I think is appropriate to win games. That’s the mentality I want to build here: a winning mentality.
“We have to fast track that, though. But I know I have to earn my right. I am going to work hard with my staff to make sure the team has that winning mentality.
“We have to build it, we have to work hard for it, and then that’s when the quality starts coming out.
“At the start, we have to get to that organised feel, build a gusto in the team and make it visual so the fans can link in very quickly.
“We need to give something back to the fans, they are desperate for that, they want to cheer the team, they want to get behind them. But we have to give them something to grip hold of.”
Dyche has earned something of an unfair reputation for being a 4-4-2 long ball merchant during his time at Burnley, where he will argue his tactics were both more complex and borne out of necessary given the players and budget he had at his disposal.
But the 51-year-old admits he does have some “basic principles” that he thinks best represents Everton that he will demand of his players from the off.
“What I would say is we want to put out a team that works, that can fight and wear the badge with pride, beyond just the tactical and technical side.
“Of course, they’re massive parts of the game but - I’ve got to learn this - the feel of the fans here, they don’t mind the ball being put at risk or playing forward.
“But they want people who are going to work and run. So, I’ve got to put that in.
“It’s not that it’s not there, but I’ve got to imprint my feeling and my style on it and that’s part of what I do.
“Hopefully, with a bit of hard work from my staff and the players, we can reignite that passion of the fans because it’s still there, you’ve seen it.”