DCL: We Want To Make Duncan Proud

In a column for, Dominic Calvert-Lewin explains why Duncan Ferguson "embodies" Everton, reveals the caretaker manager's rousing message in training at USM Finch Farm this week, and vows the Blues are ready to dig deep and deliver for the fans in Saturday's Goodison Park clash with Aston Villa...

We’ve been through a very difficult period and it’s always sad to see a manager go. As players, we must take responsibility. First and foremost, we always look at ourselves and it’s not been good enough. 

For the next game at the weekend, we have to put that right. Dunc is in charge and, for me, he embodies everything about Everton Football Club. We all want to make him proud and put in a good performance.

Everyone knows about my personal relationship with Dunc. Regardless of who the manager is, it’s always special for me when Dunc is on the sidelines, because I want to repay everything that he’s done for me.

On his first training day with us this week, he made it evident that we’re here to win and work hard for each other. 

It’s about creating that team spirit, which he does very well. He creates a working and winning atmosphere, and he makes us all look forward to the game and believing we can get the three points. He wants us to enjoy training and playing football and, when you do that, the hard work becomes a lot easier.

I think people get Dunc wrong sometimes and think he’s this big, scary guy. Of course, he’s got that in him – he’s 6ft 4in!... and if you don’t play well, you know you’ll get a good telling off. I think that’s healthy.

But the way he speaks to the lads and his approach to coaching, he’s very calm, cool and collected. He’s got both sides to him, and I think that’s important.

He’s been here and worked under many different managers. He has built up a lot of experience and I’m sure he’s taken all that information in, and he can mould that into the way he wants to play and implement his tactics.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin
I want to repay everything Duncan has done for me.

On a personal level, it’s been a massively frustrating season for me so far. Being a footballer, it was the hardest thing to have to watch from the sidelines because my body was letting me down. I was out for a long time. 

The Premier League is a difficult place to play and, being out for the length of time I was, you have got to get match fitness and match sharpness. I’ve just been working as hard as I can to get there – and you only really get that with games. For me, it’s a case of playing matches and I believe the goals will come. 

There’s definitely an excitement going into this next game. 

The atmosphere has been good in training, and it’s a case of believing what we’re capable of. This is the time you have to look in the mirror, dig deep, and produce on matchday. 

But it’s easy to talk. At the end of the day, the fans pay money to come and watch good performances from us. We fully appreciate the feelings of the Evertonians, and we want to go and put that right on Saturday.

When Dunc got the job the first time, our backs were against the wall when we were playing Chelsea. We needed a result, and we got it.

I’ve got no doubt Goodison is going to be rocking and the fans will be our 12th man on Saturday. I can’t wait to play and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere. For sure, it will give the lads a lift. 

We’re confident and we believe we can win. Now it’s about showing that on the pitch.