Dyche Aims To Cultivate New Away Day Mentality

Sean Dyche has called on his Everton players to show "a strong jaw" and develop a renewed sense of belief on the road ahead of Wednesday's visit to Arsenal.

The Blues head to the Emirates Stadium looking to replicate a similar performance that earned a 1-0 home win over the Gunners in Dyche's first game in charge earlier this month.

While the midweek clash with Mikel Arteta's side will only be Dyche's fifth match in charge of the Club, the Toffees have struggled on their travels so far this campaign with the last away victory coming prior to the break for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Speaking in Monday's pre-match press conference, Dyche addressed that record, as well as external noise around his side's potency in front of goal.

"It's simple when we talk about [finding more goals] but it's not easy to deliver," said Dyche. "The mentality of the players has been good. We've got to ask questions, create different ways of affecting games and that's what we're looking to do but, while we're doing that, not lose sight of the fact that the defensive shape has to still be good. 

"The Premier League is unforgiving at both ends of the pitch and we've shown good signs of the side being tighter and more structured in its defending.

"Now it's [about] how you can open the door when you're attacking and, certainly, I think if you take the goals out of the game on Saturday and looking at winning two of the past three coming into it, I think we maybe even delivered a more powerful performance. 

"That's how the big, clinical moments count. That's how important they are to change a performance and people's view of it, because Saturday was a good performance all-round but we didn't score the goals and we let two soft ones in. We've got to change that, obviously."

While also looking to avenge their defeat at Goodison Park just over three weeks ago, Arsenal know a win over the Toffees would open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Dyche, however, has called on his players to be bold and demonstrate their steel ahead of the challenge.

"We have to go into these games with a belief in what we do and it's mainly the consistency - the consistency of performance home and away," he continued.

"It's well known that apart from the [COVID] pandemic season that most clubs have a stronger home form. 

"There are all kinds of scientific reasons - higher testosterone in players from playing in front of the home crowd and all kinds of different things. 

"At the end of the day, you can still have good away records by structuring the team and by suggesting the team maybe have to work in different ways, but most of all the mentality is important. 

"You want players to go away from home with a strong jaw and a strong mentality to how it's going to test you. That's something we've got to build here. 

"We're in the early processes of doing that and having that ability to go away and still deliver on a consistent level and with that edge, because it's important, particularly away from home, to have that edge in your play. 

"At home, the crowd can help give you that edge but when you're away you have to bring it in through the collective on the pitch. I think that's important."

While accepting the size of the task in hand is a significant one, Dyche strongly refuted claims that the game presents a 'free hit' for his side.

He added: "From the outside, with the stats and facts and that you're going down to Arsenal who are currently having a terrific season, most people on the outside would suggest that it's unlikely that we'll get a result but that can bring a bit more freedom to the group. 

"It might mean you don't think we're going to do anything - but that doesn't mean we don't. 

"It means we'll certainly be going down there with our eyes on the prize and delivering a performance that can get something.

"That's the intention from my point of view and what I want the players to do."