Sean Dyche insists Everton’s last-gasp leveller to earn a 1-1 draw at Wolves “reaffirms the will and demand” of his players to preserve the Club’s top-flight status.
The Blues once again showed great spirit to dig deep and come away from Molineux with what could be a crucial point thanks to Yerry Mina’s equaliser in the ninth minute of added time.
That came despite Wolves’ 34th-minute opener from Hwang Hee-Chan and hamstring injuries in the first half to Nathan Patterson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin that forced the in-form duo to be replaced.
The result means Everton will take their fight for Premier League survival to the final day against Bournemouth at Goodison Park next Saturday. And Dyche believes the manner of the late drama in the West Midlands is what his squad need to replicate once more.
“It reaffirms the will and demand of our group and the fact that you can get something from games even if it’s going away from you,” Dyche told evertontv.
“It was an odd game today. They get in front against the feel of the game with a breakaway goal and then they look to defend it out because they’ve done their jobs for this season. That can be difficult to play against. Sometimes you want them to come out more and they didn’t in the second half.
“We kept knocking on the door and tried to forge chances and we just kept going and going and it paid us back and that’s a big shift for us – that mentality since we’ve been here to keep working and keep earning the right and I think we’ve done that to get a point at the end.
"We’ve been trying to build a mentality and I think that’s been evident in a lot of games. Sometimes it’s got away from us, as have the details, but the mentality has been right and it was firm again today. The never-say-die, relentless attitude I like from my teams.
“The players are beginning to understand it and deliver it more and more. I said to them at half-time, ‘Lads, big players, big performances are not always about tactics’.
“We needed to take the second half on clear-minded, no matter what it does, and play to the last breath of the game and we did, so I’m very pleased that they got a reward because every player did so that.”
Dyche, who confirmed he will have to wait until Monday to discover the extent of hamstring injuries for Calvert-Lewin and Patterson, praised his players’ willingness to play where needed, with James Garner at right wing-back, Alex Iwobi used in a variety of positions across the match and Michael Keane – who set up Mina’s leveller – up front in the closing stages.
“We’ve taken the game on. We lost players early and gave away a breakaway goal after having a couple of chances from Dom and then you’ve got to revaluate,” added the Blues boss.
“We looked at different formations and different personnel and we’re obviously strapped for players but I’m really pleased in the second half because every time we changed it there was no excuses from the players. They adapted to what was needed and finally got a good point in front of our fans who were amazing again.
“I asked Jimmy Garner to play in four different positions. He’s taken that on and there’s not a question. Alex moved into different positions and there’s not even a question. Keano goes up front, not a question. We know he’s calm in the box and he showed that. That’s the mentality you want from your players, particularly when we’re stretched.”