If there was one thing we knew about Sean Dyche before he joined Everton was that press conferences would certainly not be drab, run-of-the-mill affairs, and in his first meeting with the press since being appointed the Toffees’ new manager all of Dyche’s sense of humour, resolve and grit were on display.
“It’s been a really good welcome from all staff and players. I know a bit about the feel around the club from visiting here, but the staff’s been very open, and I think it’s been a good reaction so far.
“The players have been very open-minded and honest about the challenge, we did a feedback session and I was happy with their honesty. I think there’s a desire to put things right that’s become quite obvious actually. They know there’s an adaptation period, a load of stories about me doing yo-yo tests. It’s all nonsense, it’s just a scientific test that’s all, it’s one of a few versions of the test we’ve used over the years, we have the data for it, so it was just a marker that I explained to the players.
“It’s not rocket science, everyone knows what the challenge is. The table doesn’t lie, I like the one at the end of the season … We’re there for a reason and it’s all about how we correct it.
“[We are] Reminding them of the players they are. You don’t get to be an Everton player without laying some markers down in your career as individuals and as a team… I think there is technical prowess here.”
It’s not an easy start for Dyche at the Blues with the league leaders Arsenal visiting in the Saturday afternoon early fixture, and then an away leg of the Merseyside Derby soon after. What has he heard about the turmoil around the club between the fans and the club leadership?
“I’m excited. I’m aware of the recent noise around the club but I’m learning about the Evertonians and the reasons why. The one thing I know about Evertonians is that they stand by their club. They protect it, and they look after it. That’s what I need now. I need that as a manager, my staff, the players, we need that full support.
“The first game is important as a starting point, before a ball rolls, we’ve been working hard, cram a lot in about culture, environment, realign what we think. I reiterate, I’m not questioning anyone before me, what I, we as a group think.
“It’s easy to take the wheel of the ship in calm water, not so much when it’s choppy water, we want the fans to play a part in that. It is choppy water, no denying that, the club isn’t where it wants to be. We want the fans to reconnect with us, it’s easy to say, I’ve got to earn my spurs, I’m a marmite manager anyway – not everyone wants you.
“Wins are marvellous things in football, they seem to solve everything and it feels a lot better when you’re winning but you have to earn that. No one gives you it, you don’t want to build on luck, you want good performances, pride, passion, then layer on tactical understanding.
“The message is clear – unity. We have to. It’s a given. Even the most disgruntled Evertonians, give us a chance…
“I’m a custodian of the football club, I’m not going to be here forever, I said it about Burnley. When I’m here I’ll protect it, I’ll make sure it’s given every way to be successful. A heartbeat for this club is important and I’ve got that, that’s not a bad start.”
A good press conference overall from the new manager who is finding ways to connect to the frustrated fanbase much like his predecessor Frank Lampard did.