Dyche Identifies Improving Signs Of Balance

Sean Dyche believes Everton are showing signs of being a more balanced side and playing "effective football" at both ends of the pitch, while also displaying a more "relentless mentality". 

As well as an improved defensive structure under Dyche, the Blues have now accumulated a combined Expected Goal (xG) total of 12.25 since the 1-0 home win over Arsenal - the manager's first game in charge - with only Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal amassing a higher total in that time.

Everton host Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on Monday evening (8pm BST) - and Dyche has called on his players to build on their promising three-game unbeaten run that preceded the international break.

"The [attacking] stats have improved since we've been here on some of the markers you want - getting bodies in the box, getting better quality into the box, better quality of chances and different scorers," said Dyche in Thursday's pre-match press conference.

"I made it clear... it's always been my mentality that if a player goes out the side then there's a good opportunity for someone else.

"Beyond that, it's the responsibility of the whole team to score goals and we're showing good signs of that - being productive from different areas of the pitch, in different formats, different ways and trying to affect games.

"Effective football is what I want from the team and we're showing good signs of that.

"I think it's fair to say we've had a better defensive structure in the weeks I've been here and now we're just starting to find that balance between that and transitioning into attack.

"There seems to be a better feel to that. It's hard to explain but the transition moment, adapting to it and seeing it early is improving."

Dyche reported a clean bill of health with regards to the Club's international players, who have now returned to Finch Farm.

Nathan Patterson and James Garner gained minutes for Scotland and England Under-21s respectively, having both recently recovered from injuries.

That means Andros Townsend will be Everton's only definite absentee for Monday's game, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin "back out on the grass" but yet to return to full training.

"It was good for that reason [to get Patterson and Garner minutes] and some have got more minutes in other games, then the group left behind got a few days off but they certainly did some work as well," said Dyche.

"I think they look fresh, actually, with the way they've trained in the past three games, so I've been pleased overall. 

"There's been nothing too major come back on the injury front, either, which is helpful, particular with Ama[dou] Onana, who played both games.

"A couple of them have come back in today, so it's been good to see them."

On Calvert-Lewin, Dyche continued: "He hasn't trained with the group but he's back on the grass again and has been, so he's making progress which is good.

"He did have that tiny niggle on the injury - it was a slightly different area - but he's making very good progress so we're happy with that at the moment.

"There's no timescale. I don't do that anyway and certainly when we're just trying to get him back to 'full fitness', as I call or it, or as close to."

Spurs head to Goodison Park on the back of a testing fortnight, with Antonio Conte departing the club and his former assistant manager, Cristian Stellini, appointed as interim Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

Despite any perceived turbulent times, Dyche warned the Toffees must be at their best to take a positive result against their Champions League-chasing opponents.

"Congratulations to [Harry Kane]," said Dyche, when asked about the Tottenham striker becoming England's record goalscorer. "I'm lucky enough to know him a little bit as well and he's a fantastic fella, an all-round professional.

"He'll be aware [Spurs' attack] isn't just about him because they have a lot of good players there but, of course, he's a threat, as he has been season after season.

"Even when [Kane] gets questioned, he shuts down those questions pretty quickly with what he does.

"There's a good team there. I know there's a bit of noise with things going on it seems but, at the end of the day, they've got a good group of players there and we have to be ready for that."