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Dyche on Calvert-Lewin’s fitness, rivalry with Liverpool and whether he has sympathy for Klopp

The new Toffees boss is preparing for Monday’s Merseyside derby

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

The big games just keep on coming for Sean Dyche.

A week after beating Premier League leaders Arsenal in his first game in charge Dyche now leads the Toffees across Stanley Park to take on Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Monday evening.

It looks like Dyche will have to do so without key striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose struggle to maintain any semblance of fitness continues.

The England international was forced off with a hamstring strain against Arsenal and is a serious doubt for the trip to Anfield.

“We’re still monitoring him. It will be touch and go, at best, I think for the Liverpool game.

“We’ll just have to monitor it and hope that it settles down sooner rather than later.

“He’s had a couple of niggling injuries which you’ll know. [We’re trying to get] on top of them, getting his body to adapt and all of those things for the longer term.

“He put a real shift in [against Arsenal]. His stats were very good but unfortunately he’s just got a niggly hamstring and we’ve got to get on top of it as quick as we can.”

“We adapt to the players that we work with. The obvious two are Simms and Neal [Maupay].”

Everton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Later in the news conference Dyche was asked to elaborate further on Calvert-Lewin and his battle to get back to full fitness after a torrid few years.

The 25-year-old has previously revealed how he struggled with his mental health during his lengthy absence from the team last season.

“He has had a fair few ups and downs with injury, we are trying to align with the right things with his fitness and well-being. He has a nice desire to get back there, he was sharp and effective against Arsenal and had a couple of chances. He needs to get in a position where he is over-fit, he is desperate to play but have to find the right lines and work with him to protect him the best we can.”

Everton head to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side that is going through a rocky spell of their own.

The Reds have lost four of their last seven matches, including their last two, winning just once on that run.

However, it doesn’t matter how badly Liverpool are playing Everton still tend to freeze at Anfield.

Dyche, though, believes his side have the belief and confidence to take all three points.

“The city comes together for a massive game, my key marker is performance levels and parking the noise. Don’t let anything affect the build-up or planning.

“They have been on the up for a long time and it is difficult to constantly remodel, re-energise, they have done that well but the way football works it is difficult to constant keep achieving. They still have some very good players. I wont be overthink their form, good players, a very experienced group and the manager certainly is. They are in a tough spell, up and down time, but it is rare that teams don’t have that at some point. That has to be parked.

“There is plenty of belief in what we do and the players as individuals. We spoke them about it, the feedback of the introduction of new ideas but action is the main thing for me. The whistle blows you have to perform. The last win doesn’t guarantee the next one.”

Dyche was also asked was whether he had any sympathy for his opposite number Jurgen Klopp given Liverpool’s poor form.

“My focus is on Everton Football Club, we have to make sure we are right without worrying about anyone else. That is absolutely my focus. There is no sympathy in football, it is empathy.

“As a manager you have an understanding of others and he certainly doesn’t need my sympathy, for someone as experienced as him and what he has done in the game. As a manager, we understand each other’s roles, no matter what level you are at, because it is a very difficult job. I have been through it myself when things haven’t gone right and you wished them to be.”