Dyche Sends 'Fortress' Goodison Message

Sean Dyche has reiterated the importance of turning Goodison Park into a “fortress” ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with Fulham.

Everton host Marco Silva’s side on Saturday afternoon (3pm BST) looking to bounce back from their defeat at Manchester United last weekend and build on the impressive form they have shown at Goodison Park since Dyche arrived at the Club.

The Blues are unbeaten in four of their past five home matches, impressively keeping clean sheets in each of their three victories.

They also went four games without tasting defeat both at Goodison and on the road prior to that loss against third-placed United.

Speaking in Thursday’s press conference at Finch Farm ahead of Saturday’s game, Dyche explained: "We want to build that mentality at home, that fortress created by the fans and the way they go about it.

"They have been excellent. Home or away, by the way, I couldn’t question them.

"I think the team have responded at home and some of the away performances. They stepped off a little bit last week, but generally the team have responded and given the fans something to cheer about. 

"You know it is not just a one-way street this - the players have to use their energy but then give the energy to the fans and I think that’s been a good balance so far." 

For Saturday's contest, Everton will continue to be without Abdoulaye Doucoure who has two games left to serve of a three-match ban following his sending off in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham. 

While Dyche acknowledges the midfielder's absence is unfortunate, he also highlights it is a chance for the likes of James Garner or Tom Davies to step up in his place.  

Davies has featured from the bench in eight of Dyche’s 10 games in charge so far. Garner, meanwhile, has recently returned to First-Team action after being sidelined since November with a back injury, being utilised as a substitute in the Blues' past two fixtures. 

"They are both going well," admits Dyche. "Jimmy is returning after an injury but he’s had a number of weeks now with us. He is training hard and training well. 

"Tom’s been at the Club a longer period and played games so he understands the role. We want flexibility within the squad and it’s needed. If you do get injuries, it is needed, so, yes, we will certainly have a think on with Doucs coming out of the side. Try to change to the best way we can be effective.”