Sean Dyche has called on Everton to retain their “firm mentality” for Sunday's crunch clash against AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park.
The Toffees go into the contest knowing victory will retain their Premier League status, and the Blues boss believes his squad can take encouragement for the strength they have shown in recent weeks to move out of the bottom three.
Everton started this final vital month of the season with a determined display that delivered an important 2-2 draw at relegation rivals Leicester City, before a sensational 5-1 victory at high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion.
Newly-crowned champions Manchester City got the better of the Blues at Goodison, but Dyche’s men bounced back at Wolves on Saturday with a late Yerry Mina strike in the ninth minute of added time securing a crucial 1-1 draw.
Wolves had been formidable at Molineux going into that contest, winning each of their previous four home Premier League matches without conceding a single goal. They were on course to break a new club Premier League record for registering five successive wins but Everton’s resolve saw them duly rewarded.
Despite the pressure that will come with this weekend’s finale, Dyche wants to see that same steadfast mentality displayed at Goodison Park on Sunday.
“The main thing for me is the mentality,” Dyche said to evertontv while reflecting on Saturday’s result.
“I can’t enhance on that enough. We changed the shape three or four times in the second half [at Wolves] and we’re asking a lot of the players to keep changing. They were clear-minded, and they just kept going and going.
“We got what could be a big point, but we’ve got to reinforce that by going again this week.”
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Everton’s solid recent form during the run-in has put them in a favourable position going into Sunday’s game against Bournemouth at Goodison Park (4.30pm BST).
Leicester City’s failure to beat Newcastle United on Monday night, combined with Leeds United’s defeat at West Ham the day before, means three points against the Cherries will extend the Club's proud run in the top-flight.
Dyche knows the job is with him, his players and staff to deliver the required result. Yet, he’s also aware of the prominent role a raucous Goodison crowd can play in helping his team get over the line.
“When I became manager here we wanted to connect with the fans,” said Dyche. “We wanted an on-pitch connection. I think they’re seeing everyone from myself, the staff and the players giving their lot.
“We’ve made some mistakes along the way, but I don’t think it’s a lack of effort. I think the commitment to the cause is evident and the fans are playing their part. That’s the connection we want, and we’ll need that connection at home this week.”
He added: “But it’s within us to take care of ourselves and that’s what we’re going to do.”