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Onana close and DCL in | Dyche provides latest Everton injury updates for Newcastle clash

Manager’s comments ahead of Thursday’s game at Goodison Park including the return of Anthony Gordon

Everton Press Conference Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton manager Sean Dyche met with the media earlier today ahead of the midweek Premier League action, the game against Newcastle United, and the team’s strength and mentality when it comes to the recent team struggles at home.

With Seamus Coleman getting back to full fitness and his return to the bench on the weekend, Dyche first spoke about the recent successful return to action for Andre Gomes. Dyche reported that, “Andre’s had a very frustrating season so far but he got a run out. There’s a bit more from him to be fully fit.”

After missing out for the last two matches, Dyche cautiously confirmed that Amadou Onana is “back on the grass. [It will be] touch and go with our decision around him.” Having his presence back in the middle of the park will be well received but this looks like it is going to be a game day decision.

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

The other big question surrounds the fitness of Dominic Calvert Lewin who also missed the Nottingham Forest match on the weekend. It was encouraging to hear Dyche inform everyone that “Dom’s showing good signs of being right so he’ll come back into the thinking.”

Dyche was also discussing the ongoing issue of finishing:

“It’s putting the ball in the net. That’s the biggest challenge and that’s the next challenge because a lot of our performances have been very strong at home. The number crunchers we have here are very in depth at what they do. I was asking them on their thoughts, and they said, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing because it pays you back eventually’.

The quality of chance is the biggest thing. They don’t just look at number of chances. It’s the quality, getting into key areas, how many bodies are involved, and the effectiveness. The final moment of truth is the key.”

Everton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

One of the underlying stories this week is the return of Anthony Gordon who has been in a rich vein of form over the last few weeks. After being taken off early against Manchester United, the young forward has trained with the team this week and should be in the lineup on Thursday.

Sean Dyche avoided specific comments about the return but Eddie Howe spoke at length on the return of the recently departed Gordon:

“Anthony has to be prepared for whatever reception he gets and take it, but really just focus on his football. That’s all he can do. If you start thinking about external things that you can’t control then you take your mind off what you need to control. He needs to control all the things that make his performance as good as he can, which he did against Manchester United, and has been doing on a consistent basis lately.”

“It’s great to see him score goals, assist goals and look like he is enjoying his football because if a player is in that frame of mind, they are going to perform better,” Howe added. “That’s all he’s got to try and do - just enjoy the game.”

As for Dyche’s thoughts on the Newcastle team, he was less than talkative:

“They’ve collected some very good players with a very good manager. It’s not about one player. Other than their injuries, I think they’ve got good squad.”