Dyche On Next Steps After Pre-Season Win

Sean Dyche says the hard graft will continue for Everton's players after a valuable workout in the 2-1 pre-season win over Stade Nyonnais in Switzerland.

Second-half goals from Katia Kouyate and Neal Maupay - via the penalty spot - were enough to clinch victory to put a positive end on an intense period of work in the Lake Geneva area.

But Blues boss Dyche insists the result was "irrelevant" at this stage and instead wished to focus on the long-term benefits of the week away.

"The victory is irrelevant, to be honest, because we need people fit," he told evertontv. "We’ve already had people go down injured – not seriously, it must be said. A couple with sickness, unfortunately, too.

"As you know, it’s been very hot here. Whether that’s affected their bodies a little bit, and there’s still a number of first-team players to either come back from fitness, or, of course, there are still players away and having a rest because they’ve played so much football over the summer.

"That being considered, at the end of a very tough week, it was a decent outing for us. 

"There are a lot of young players here, don’t forget, and for a lot of them, it’s there first time with the first team. 

"Trust me, they’ve found it a tough week, let’s say, so I wasn’t expecting miracles out of them."

Everton's players and staff return to Merseyside over the weekend to continue preparations for the competitive 2023/24 campaign.

Discussing his upcoming plans, Dyche explained: "They’ll certainly have a tough first part of [next] week, and then really, we’ve locked in the basic stuff – the basic principle of fitness, and then it’s about building into the games programme. 

"There will still be some work in between that, but, obviously, a lot of that is down to the games programme – the tactical side, the technical side, and really sharpening up everyone for what the team looks like. 

"We’re still waiting for bodies to come back, as well, so we can only do so much until we get everyone back in, which will probably be in about 12 to 14 days’ time. The two young England lads [Branthwaite and Garner], Demarai [Gray] as well, they’ve played a lot of football, so they still need a break."

A number of younger players were included in Dyche's squad for the pre-season trip, with many of them featuring in Friday evening's match at Centre Sportif de Colovray Nyon.

"I think they’ve learned a lot," said Dyche about his youngsters. "I think the fatigue element caught a few of them out tonight, because I think it’s the first time they’ve worked as hard as this in the first week of pre-season. 

"We’re only a week in, don’t forget. 

"I think it’s been a steep learning curve for them, but that’s what we want. We want them to learn, we want them to be aware of what it is to be a Premier League player as they build their careers to try to be that."

Next up for Everton are away friendlies against Tranmere Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City before a clash with Portuguese outfit Sporting CP at Goodison Park on Saturday 5 August to complete pre-season.

Reflecting on the week in Switzerland as a whole, Dyche said: "Really good. I think it’s been a good camp. Fantastic facilities, with the hotel and everything. We’ve all been well, well looked after, and here they’ve been very hospitable. 

"It’s good to get a game – just to finish the week. Like I say, it’s more about the fitness. This is really just getting them in game mode. 

"There was no build up to this; no shape, no set-pieces. It’s literally getting minutes in their legs, so it feels real again. 

"Even though these are friendlies, there’s still a crowd. There is a load of Everton fans here – fantastic from them, by the way. I think there was something like 500 of them, which is great from them. 

"All of those boxes needed to be ticked, but the biggest one of all is coming through the week, hopefully, with no serious injuries, which it doesn’t look like there is and then building from here."