Dyche's Positive Squad Message For Liverpool Clash

Sean Dyche believes his Everton players are in "a good place" as they prepare to make the short trip across Stanley Park to take on Liverpool in Saturday's 243rd Merseyside derby (12.30pm kick-off BST).

The Blues head into the clash having won three of their past four matches, with the most recent being a dominant 3-0 success over Bournemouth prior to the international break. 

Jurgen Klopp's side, meanwhile, are winless in their past two Premier League outings and will no doubt be motivated to get back on track against their local rivals.

Dyche insists he is acutely aware of what this fixture means to both sides of the city but says his key message to Everton's players in the build-up has been around maintaining focus on delivering another positive performance and continuing the growing feel-good factor within the squad.

In Thursday's pre-match press conference held at Finch Farm, Dyche explained: "We were in decent spirits anyway, but (the win against Bournemouth) reaffirms to the players and staff that when you get it right, and when you take your chances, then it shows and I've always said we are a good outfit.

"Despite all the challenges, we have a strong group of players and it's about performing and delivering. (Against Bournemouth) I was pleased it all came together. Not just to get a performance but to get a very good win on top of that.

"My main thing now is staying focused. I don't want us to get carried away (with the occasion). It's not that easy with all the noise and all the build-up, but players are in a good place at the moment, and we want that to continue."

Everton secured a memorable 2-0 victory at Anfield in February 2021, ending a 21-year wait to beat Liverpool on their own turf. 

Dyche acknowledged that while Anfield can be a tough place to go for opposing sides, he's eager to see the Blues improve their record at the home of the Reds and revealed he is personally relishing the challenge that lies ahead this weekend.  

"Their record is very strong," he accepted. "They are a good outfit. Our record needs changing there, we know that. It's a tough place to go. 

"But we won't be listening to the noise around it. There's a lot of it of course, and rightfully so, it is a big game. But our focus is to get through that and concentrate on our performance. 

"I must say from afar, you know the stories but it's not the same as when you are in it. The focus stays the same, when the whistle blows you focus on the team, but there's a focus, a feel, there's no two ways about it, it's a proper derby. 

"I have played in a few and been around a few but it's definitely the biggest I know and have been involved in. I have had one experience and I am certainly looking forward to the next one."