McNeil Praises Dyche For Restoring ‘Belief'

Dwight McNeil has praised manager Sean Dyche for giving him back the “belief” in his qualities after the winger put in another standout performance in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Brentford.   

The ex-Burnley man arrived from the Clarets in the summer having worked under Dyche for the bulk of his senior career.  

He initially struggled to find his feet at Goodison Park and spent much of the first half of the campaign on the periphery of the squad. However, he's been reborn since his former manager's arrival at the Club. 

McNeil was included in the starting XI for Dyche’s first game in charge at home to Arsenal at the beginning of last month and has been a mainstay ever since.   

On Saturday, he fired the Toffees into the lead after just 35 seconds with a stunning left-footed strike, registering Everton’s fifth-fastest Premier League goal in the process.  

McNeil built on that with a dogged and determined display that saw him awarded Player of the Match after full-time.     

Opening up on life under Dyche across these past five weeks, McNeil said: “It’s been good. I got off to a good start and it’s nice to just be playing. I appreciate it a lot, that I am getting the trust to play.   

“When Dyche came back in, we had a conversation about how I was playing. He knew what type of player I am and the person I am off the pitch, as well, which is massive. We had a conversation about how to get me playing back to how I used to be.  

“I am enjoying it. Now we have to focus on the rest of the season because it is tight at the bottom. We have massive games coming up and the international break, but we will take it one game at a time.”  

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WATCH VIDEO 02:10 Sat 11 Mar 2023


McNeil's early cracker seals win for Blues at Goodison Park.

Earlier in the week, Dyche revealed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin was edging towards a return after joining in two full training sessions.   

Saturday’s clash came too early for the forward, but McNeil revealed the players cannot wait to have him back on the pitch.

Perhaps more than most, the winger will be relishing the return of Everton’s No. 9 given how much his profile suits McNeil’s direct attacking style.   

McNeil registered seven crosses on Saturday – no player on the pitch attempted more – and his average of 6.96 crosses per 90 is the highest across the whole Everton squad.   

“It is massive [Dom’s return],” he admitted. “We know Dom is a big player for us. We have had a couple of training sessions with him, but the main thing is we need to get him match-fit because he is a massive player in our squad.   

“I have not really played with Dom. I just know from my experience of playing against him. He is a massive threat. He is good in the air, which suits me. He is a big handful, and we are looking forward to having him back in the squad."