Everton make the journey south to face Tottenham on Saturday in the traditional 3pm kickoff. After the disappointment of our Carabao Cup exit, Sean Dyche was more than ready to revitalise the outlook as the team prepares for the match at the Tottenham Stadium.
In a significant vein of form, Everton have won all three trips to London so far this season which is a record not bettered since a string of four consecutive London-based league victories between April 1911 and September 1912. That is more than 110 years ago!!!!!
The gaffer first reflected on the unfortunate exit from the League Cup:
“A lot of the details, in general, were very good - apart from the moments of truth where we needed to score a goal. There were a lot of good signs from our performance. So, no, there shouldn’t be any hangover at all.”
Dyche spoke at length about the away form struggle that he had to address when he arrived at the club last year:
“There was a lot of noise about the away form when I got here. I think the mentality of it has improved significantly. I know I use that word a lot, but it has at all levels of the Club.
If you’re playing well and getting results, of course, there comes that little bit of freedom. That shoulders-back attitude to go to take games on. We’ve done a lot of collective work on that mentality. That home and away mentality and trying to find different ways of operating away from home. As a group, we decided we need to do better. We worked very hard during pre-season and early season. I thought we were playing well - really well - we just couldn’t score goals.”
Dyche confirmed that he would be missing three players for the Saturday match:
”Touch and go with Seamus [Coleman] because of the involvement side of things, he needs a few more days of training. [Ashley] Young is making progress but I don’t think he’ll make this one. And [Abdoulaye] Doucoure, not for this one.”
Dyche was asked specifically about Doucoure and he appeared to be trying to put a positive spin on the recovery, but his response was not good for Saturday but the suggestion was that the midfielder would be pushing for a return over the busy Christmas period:
“We’ll see, he’s making good progress. I think I mentioned it in the week, he’s a good healer from what I gather from his past here. So we’re hoping it settles quickly as it is doing.”
There was some positive news regarding Vitalii Mykolenko who has been out of the team for the last two matches missing the win at Burnley a week ago and the Carabao Cup tie with an apparent groin issue. Dyche believed that he was “back in the thinking” and could feature on Saturday.
With the recent decision regarding the potential formation of the European Super League, Dyche was clearly on the side of the fans who pay the way for all teams:
“Well I think the bigger picture was the last time this came around, it was made clear by the fans, forget about what I think. I think fans, certainly many fan groups of clubs that were mentioned were quite clear in their thoughts and obviously that was something they didn’t want, changing the laws which maybe opens up something for the future but I dunno we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Luton match was a blip and let’s hope that the Carabao Cup loss was another one. The one thing I know is that consistency has grown and the match at Tottenham will be another step along the way. We have to continue our support and know that the current run of form in London is almost unprecedented, Long may it continue!