Dyche Talks Attacking Options And Harnessing Energy

Sean Dyche reiterated his belief in the quality of Everton's squad and called on his players to harness the "incredible atmosphere" of Goodison Park ahead of Saturday's visit of Leeds United.

After revealing Dominic Calvert-Lewin's chances of featuring this weekend are "improbable", Dyche says he will focus on the attacking options he has available to him as the Blues bid to replicate the same level of performance they showed in the impressive 1-0 win over then-league leaders Arsenal a fortnight ago.

Ellis Simms was handed his second-ever senior Everton start in Monday's Merseyside derby, while Neal Maupay and Demarai Gray were introduced from the bench - and Dyche says those three players are all pushing for a starting berth.

“We’ve got other good players here," he said when asked about the impact of losing Calvert-Lewin. "I think it’s more important to focus on them at this stage, because facts are facts, and Dom’s not available.

“Until then, my focus is on the players who are available, and the team unit.

“The mentality has to be that we score as a team and defend as a team. The framework of the team is important. It’s not just about individual players. It’s about putting players in an area to score goals, whoever that may be.

“The whole team has a responsibility to score, as we showed against Arsenal with a good set piece. It’s the mentality of the whole group that’s important.”

“It’s not just about the current side that’s played. It’s about the squad.

“The players who didn’t play on Monday trained the day after and they trained fantastically well. I told them that they are the strength of the group because when the team changes, they have to be ready to perform. That mentality from them has been fantastic since I got here.”

Now two games into his Everton career, Dyche reflected on his start with the Blues. Assessing both fixtures, Dyche said: “Two performances; similar in a way against two good sides.

“Arsenal are flying, and Liverpool have had ups and downs but are still a very good side. There wasn’t that much in it against Liverpool, but we didn’t create much, and it’s hard to create really good opportunities away from home.

“We need to find that balance of making the squad tight but also having enough freedom to play forwards and affect the opposition. We need to be solid and work hard, but also work smart to allow us more freedom to create more opportunities.”

On the importance of Saturday’s meeting with Leeds United, Dyche was quick to point out: “Every game in the Premier League is a must-win game. Every win, no matter how it comes, is important.

“My focus for the next game is the same, regardless of who it’s against. We want to keep performing at a consistent level. Something I’ve been obsessed with for many years is raising the minimum.

“How can we raise the minimum levels? How can we stop off-days and collective down-days?

“The work ethic and alignment of the team has been good so far. As I mentioned earlier, we need to keep raising the minimum standards so we can keep pushing forwards.”

Dyche was full of praise for the fans and the atmosphere generated during the win over the Gunners in his first occupying the home dugout and has called on his players to use the "energy" again on Saturday.

“Home games will be important because of the way Goodison feels," he added. "I saw it against Arsenal. That’s an incredible energy for the players to play with.

“We have to take some of that feeling and ingrain it within the group so when we go away, we have that feeling of a home game, and that same mentality.

“The atmosphere at home is massively important and it was a big thing against Arsenal, but now we need it in every game. I’m sure the Evertonians will be there.”