Dyche's Defensive Boost

Sean Dyche says the return to fitness of Vitalii Mykolenko provides a competitive boost for his Everton side in their quest to convert encouraging signs into Premier League points.

Mykolenko made his first league start of the campaign with a strong display against Arsenal, having impressed for Ukraine with similarly impressive shows against Italy and England during the international break.

Reflecting on the narrow defeat to the Gunners, Dyche admitted he was disappointed with the quality his players showed in possession, but says there were defensive elements to be pleased with.

"[Mykolenko] gives us balance, of course," Dyche told evertontv. "He had two solid performances [for Ukraine] while he was away. I've been waiting for him to get fit.

"I thought he played well and there were some good signs within that defensive performance. 

"The element of fluidity in the side today and that's been pretty good - the way we've used the ball, the effectiveness of the way we've used the ball and everyone wanting the ball - but that went missing [against Arsenal].

"On the transition, not enough people wanted to go and play, wanted to be active with the ball and have that different kind of bravery with the ball."

Dyche also revealed he has been pleased with the early signs of a budding defensive central-defensive partnership between Jarrad Branthwaite and James Tarkowski, who started their third consecutive game together at the weekend.

"I thought Jarrad played well again today and that's pleasing as he's a young centre half earning his spurs," said Dyche.

"I thought [the partnership between Branthwaite and Tarkowski] was good today against some very good players. I thought we were very effective in that area of the pitch, it was more the transition area [that wasn't there] - dealing with the ball from our point of view. 

"It's difficult against top teams because they don't just play well, they press well and they anticipate. We didn't anticipate with the ball and we weren't effective in counter-attacking situations. It's important to learn from and important to keep moving forward."

Dyche deployed his side in a 4-1-4-1 formation against Arsenal but says he will remain fluid with his shape - and that technical details will remain most important in their bid to secure more points.

"We're trying to be effective but with systems, you're talking about 5-10 yards at times," he added. "Everyone said I played 4-4-2 for years - I didn't, but there's no point in me denying it, I just let people crack on and say what they want to say.

"We want to be a bit more fluid here because we can be with the effectiveness of the tactical side of the game. When it's delivered well we know we can be a good unit. 

"This season we haven't got the points on the board but our job is to get points on the board - make no mistake. I've never hidden behind that. The league table doesn't lie. It sometimes lies with the amount of performances you put in that could get you more but, at the end of the day, it doesn't factually lie. 

"We are where we are. We have one point, we need more and we should be getting more. It's down to us to go and deliver those details that I'm talking about."