Everton manager Sean Dyche met with the media earlier today ahead of this weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace. In his pre-match press conference, he addressed the fitness status of the team. It looks like Amadou Onana, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jarrad Branthwaite will all be ready to go by the weekend.
”We’ve got a couple of knocks with Amadou and Jarrad has got a bit of a knock but we’re not expecting too much drama. Doucs had a bit of sickness - but they’ve all been out on the grass today [Thursday], so we’re hopeful on them.
I think [Onana] should be [available]. As I say, they’ve been out on the grass and as we know, we’ll see how it reacts tomorrow but he’s managed it well and done well to get through the games he did. Hopefully we’ve managed that well with him as well and it’s calmed down.”
Team captain, Seamus Coleman has stepped up his recovery this week by leading out the U21’s in their win over Mansfield Town.
“Seamus is still coming back to true fitness but he’s doing great. He’s put a lot of effort into getting back to real fitness levels and he’s desperate to get back involved, as you can imagine. But he’s been terrific since he’s been back amongst the group and that helps.”
First team members Youssef Chermiti, Lewis Dobbin and Joao Virginia also took part in the Football League Cup match which helps to keep them sharp and match ready when they are needed.
“They’re important, these games, because we want to stimulate players to get back to full fitness and full sharpness. The games programme can be awkward in arranging these games, but it was a game we thought they could get something from. I am pleased for the young players getting a game, getting through it and getting a results.”
Long term absentees, Dele Alli and Andre Gomes are still a good distance from returning to the match squad. It was interesting how the conversation turned to the role that Dele is playing for the team in his absence from the pitch. Dyche even alluded to the midfielder being a potential manager down the road.
“Who knows? But he’s certainly had a lot of experiences that might stand him in good stead later on in life if he decides to go down that route.”
There are still some question marks but it does look like the team who were fit last week will be available again and it looks like Onana will be back barring any issues in the runup to the match. It might be a pre-match assessment that will confirm his inclusion.