Sean Dyche believes Everton’s fine 3-1 win at Brentford reinforced to his players the positive strides they are making - but insists more work is still to be done.
The Blues inflicted just the second league defeat on the Bees on their home patch in a year with a hugely-convincing display in west London as goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Tarkowski and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a maiden league triumph of 2023/24 in style.
After playing well in the majority of their matches this term, Everton got full reward this time around following a performance that saw them register 18 shots, six on target, and limit Thomas Frank’s side to just two efforts on goal.
Dyche was pleased to give Evertonians something to smile about but told his men they must keep striving for a winning mentality to maintain a feelgood factor around the Club.
“It's good to get a result our performance warranted,” Dyche told evertontv. “We’ve stepped away twice [this season] - once against a very good Arsenal side in the second half, and at Villa we weren’t close - but the other games I think we performed well.
“It’s hard because you have to keep telling that story. I think the Evertonians realised [we have played well in most games] but you’ve got to win, you’ve got to score goals so to do that today at a tough place and be so effective in our play - we had 18 efforts at goal - was very pleasing.
“The biggest reinforcement is for the players. They’ve been working hard, they’ve been diligent this week, we had a chat about how we can find freedom when the noise is tough.
“At the end of the day, we have to change the story and it’s a start today because the majority of our performances have been good. This is a step forward because we did win, we created lots of chances and we kept with the right on-pitch behaviours to keep pushing forward and playing.
“There were a lot of good performances and a lot of good habits but you only get them reinforced when you win games - and we’ve got to keep winning and keep that winning mentality and creating a different story for Everton Football Club and get our fans to believe in what we are doing.
“This is a step forward but there is a lot of work to do.”
Dyche opted to make one change to his starting XI from last weekend’s narrow loss to Arsenal, with James Garner coming in for Arnaut Danjuma.
The 2022 summer signing from Manchester United justified that decision with a sumptuous cross for Tarkowski to tee up Doucoure’s opener, before winning possession and producing a beautiful pass with the outside of his right boot for Calvert-Lewin’s goal.
Dyche was full of praise for his team, especially Garner and Doucoure, while welcoming Everton’s return to being a threat at set pieces, with the Blues’ first coming from a cleared corner and Tarkowski’s second-half header arriving courtesy of Dwight McNeil’s peach of a delivery.
“I’m really pleased for Jimmy,” added the manager. “He works ever so hard. We ask a lot of him.
“When I left him out [in recent weeks] I’m told him he’s one of our future players like Patto [Nathan Patterson] but they have to go in and out of the team as part of their learning. He’s got a lovely honesty about him, he’s a very good player, and he’s very adaptable as we’ve seen.
“There were a lot of good performances. I thought Doucs was excellent. He set the scene very early on with his pressing and work ethic for the team.
“The delivery was very good, as they were generally today from set pieces. That’s a key factor, to put it in the right areas with quality because we know we’ve got people who can go into the box with that belief of scoring. I’m pleased we did that today.”