With the quick turnaround, Everton manager Sean Dyche met with the media after the Newcastle match and ahead of the weekend Premier League action. With the visit of Chelsea happening just three days after the victory over Newcastle, Dyche took the time to preview the match on Sunday.
Dyche spoke briefly about captain Seamus Coleman who was withdrawn in the 67th minute after injuring his foot in a collision with Anthony Gordon. Dyche confirmed that the knock was only minor and it had been his first match in months so the expectation to complete the game was very low. He did speak very highly of his returning captain:
“I’m pleased for him. I know what a fantastic pro he is. He has a minor situation, we think, which is unfortunate but that can happen, he has been out a long time. It’s great to have him back, he wore the armband with pride like he does.”
As for the other injury updates, including James Garner and Amadou Onana -
“Jimmy, I hope [will be available]. It’s a sickness bug and you never know, but they can pass very quickly. As we know – we’ve all had one – [it can be] 24 hours, but there are some longer ones. We hope it’s a 24-hour situation, so he’d have time to get food back in himself and feel stronger again.
“Amadou, we’re hoping will be around it – possibly in the squad. We’ll just have to wait and see how the next couple of days of training go.”
Dyche was gushing over the Man Of The Match performance from Dwight McNeil after the young forward scored the game winning goal for the second match in a row:
“I’ve always spoken about how he puts a lot of weight on himself and I’ve said ‘you’ve got to relax that, release it, go and enjoy your performances, go and play with a smile’ as many managers used to say when I was young. I think he’s one of those who when he plays with a smile and he runs hard for the team, it starts to come together and I think he’s done that ever since I’ve been here and I’m very pleased for him and I’m very pleased for us because he’s getting the rewards for that.”
Dyche then turned his attention to the team he would be facing on Sunday and reiterated his respect for Mauricio Pocchetino and the ‘project’ that he is currently building:
“They’re a bit up and down with a new manager finding his group and all that sort of stuff. I was at Old Trafford – they’ve still got quality, they’ve still got pace, they’ve still got a depth of experience in football, so we’ve got to be ready.
They’re a good side and a big club but it’s a home game and we’re a big club ourselves and our fans are going to be right up for it obviously so all those things help with the energy and that little bit extra energy that you sometimes need as a footballer and as a team. We’ll certainly be coming back to Goodison in good shape for the next challenge.”
Everton currently are in 17th place and have 10 points after the 10 point deduction. Mathematically, they would be on 20 points and sitting in 10th place above Chelsea who have 19 points but Dyche would not be drawn into that conversation as he has done since the FFP ruling was handed down and only focused on his team.
“They’re a good side and a big club but it’s a home game and we’re a big club ourselves and our fans are going to be right up for it obviously so all those things help with the energy and that little bit extra energy that you sometimes need as a footballer and as a team. We’ll certainly be coming back to Goodison in good shape for the next challenge.”
In preparation for the match with such a quick turnaround, Dyche has reiterated the need to focus on Everton’s performance and Everton’s plan for the match.
“So we’ve got to make sure to be ready with our performance with everything we’ve being doing – and I think we did against Newcastle against another good side, no two ways about it, they proved that – and the focus has to be on us and that’s what we’re looking to build here. We want the focus to be on us, we all do the analytics and the reports and look at the opposition, every players knows these days, but it’s about us and more about what we’re doing and how we’re stepping into these games.”
Chelsea have splashed out £1.1billion on transfers since Todd Boehly took over the club in 2022 and the gap between the two teams financial spending is incredible. Dyche was asked about that gap and how that would change the way he does his work.
“It’s all conjecture, there’s no point, I knew it wasn’t going to be that. When I took the job I was certainly under no illusion that there were going to be massive amounts of money. I knew we were going to have to balance it and find ways of working in the market. That’s the reality of Everton Football Club, let’s see what the future brings.”
The one thing I love about the gaffer is his practicality and his consistency of message. He knows what he wants, he knows how to do it and most importantly, he sticks to the plan.