McNeil: Why Everton Confidence Is High

Dwight McNeil says Everton players are giving everything under Sean Dyche, and the reward in terms of positive performances and results has hugely lifted confidence in the camp.    

Three committed and battling performances against Nottingham Forest, Brentford and then Chelsea prior to the international break saw the Blues piece together their longest unbeaten Premier League run since October.   

McNeil was integral in all three of those matches and has indeed been a mainstay in the Everton starting line-up since Sean Dyche joined the Club at the end of January.   

His rejuvenation at the Club is representative of the wider team’s improvement under Dyche, and McNeil credits the boss for helping to instil a more resolute attitude throughout the squad.   

Reflecting on the point secured at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, McNeil said: “We kept fighting to the end, that’s what we are doing at the minute. We’re not giving up and instead believing in each other.   

“[At Chelsea] we stuck in there. We’re in a bit of good form ourselves, so it’s about having that confidence. Our away form hasn’t been as good as our home form this season, but we’re always working to improve it on the road. We showed that against a good Chelsea side.   

“We deserved a point, credit to the lads. We are sticking at it. Everyone is trying their hardest for themselves, for the Club and for the fans. We are giving everything we can at the minute. We know how important it is to stay in this league. “  

The five points accumulated from that tricky three-game run could prove crucial at the end of the campaign, however, McNeil points out it’s the level of performance that accompanied those positive results that’s just as key.    

“We are playing better as a team,” he explained. “We are understanding each other individually and collectively as well. We’re learning from the coaching staff every day, too.   

“We are in a positive moment at the minute, everyone is confident and rightfully so. We can’t get ahead of ourselves because we know in these last 10 games, every match is going to be as hard as the last one.   

"[Over the break] we can freshen up, learn from the Chelsea game in terms of what we can do better going into the next game at home which is a massive one against Tottenham.”  

McNeil was one of the players who remained at Finch Farm over the international break and has been working hard on the training pitch to continue building on the momentum of his own good recent form from across the past eight weeks. 

“I am enjoying my football at the moment,” he added. “I have my confidence back. It’s good to get the praise from the players, coaching staff and gaffer, too.”   

The Toffees return to action Monday 3 April (8pm BST) when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Goodison Park.