Dyche: Flexible Approach Key For Blues

Sean Dyche says he has been pleased with the balance of his Everton side so far this campaign - and insists his players must continue to be flexible in their approach against different opponents as they bid to continue positive momentum.

The Blues head to Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park on Saturday (3pm GMT), looking to build on an impressive run of results that has returned five wins and just two losses from their past eight games.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to the capital, manager Dyche reflected on the merits of a solid team performance during last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, when, despite ceding the lion's share of possession to the visitors, only Kaoru Mitoma's cruelly-deflected cross late on denied the Toffees victory.

"I don't think [possession-based football] is overrated," said Dyche, when asked about the value of possession statistics. "I think certain games require certain ways of playing. We hope to do better with the ball, I must make that clear. 

"Counter-attacking when we got into so many good positions, the defensive side was very good, very pleasing. I admire the energy from the side and the commitment to them [Brighton] well, stop them from creating many changes. 

"They get a lucky break, and sometimes that happens, they are a very good side. I think we've seen a balance this season with the way we can perform. We’ve seen games where we have dominated with the ball, the metrics with ball. I said earlier in the season about xG etc.

"But it’s pleasing for me to see different ways of affecting games over the season in the Premier League, I’m pretty experienced in it, unless you’re the superpowers, particularly Manchester City. You have to flex and change, that’s what I’ve learnt we can do that and we can do that."

Everton's clash with Palace sees Dyche come up against long-term friend Roy Hodgson and his former Watford manager Ray Lewington - Eagles' First-Team Coach - in the dugout.

Dyche, who has recorded three wins and two draws from nine meetings with Hodgson-managed sides during the course of his career, added: "I tell him every time I see him and I'll tell him again this week... 'What are you doing? What are you doing this for?!'... In a lovely way! 

"He's a terrific fella and he's always been terrific with me when I was younger coming through and I came across him. I've known through some other work I've done, like Leaders in Sport, as well. He's always at those events and speaks very wisely.

"Also Ray Lewington, who was my manager at Watford. I've always got on fantastically well with Ray and he was a fantastic gaffer as well. 

"I like a lot of what they are and what they do. I respect them, without a shadow of a doubt but, as I know and they know, that all goes out of the window for however long the referee plays, then hopefully I'll get to have a chat with them afterwards."