McNeil Reveals How Blues Reacted To Deduction

Dwight McNeil says a boost in belief has been key to the impressive away form of an Everton side determined to keep fighting for Premier League points.

Everton have never lost when opening the scoring under Sean Dyche (winning 10 and drawing four), and that proved to be the case again on Saturday evening at Nottingham Forest when McNeil fired the Toffees into a 67th-minute lead.

The 1-0 victory represents a sixth win this term on the road in all competitions for Everton, who were recently deducted 10 points by the Premier League’s commission.

Speaking to evertontv after the game, McNeil discussed the squad’s collective response to the ruling, explaining: “We had a meeting about it as a group on what’s gone on and what we were going to do about it, and we all decided to not let it affect us.

“If anything, it’s fuelled us more. We know we have minus-10 points, but we’ve just taken it on - especially on Saturday because that's a massive three points away from home.

“We have to keep going and forget about it, and just concentrate on us, taking it a game at a time. We know this period of the season is vital. There are a lot of games around Christmas so we have to keep going as a team.”

Picking up a third consecutive away victory, the Toffees have now won four Premier League away games in this campaign, as many as they won on the road in 2021/22 and 2022/23 combined.

Confidence is key to those positive outcomes, says McNeil, who discussed the upturn in results away from home.

“I think it’s having the belief within ourselves and believing we can beat teams at their own grounds,” he said. “It’s all about the process, and now it’s starting to pay off. It’s just as important winning at home as it is on the road, so we know we have to keep going and we want to pick up more points at home.

"We want to keep going as a team and keep getting better as a team. I think this year, we definitely believe we are a good team. We know as a team; we want to do better collectively - for ourselves, for the fans and for the Club, and finish as high as we can.
We know we have a good team but now we’re starting to turn in performances and get three points, as well.

"It’s not easy [going to Forest] and getting three points, but we did that and we deserved it."

Throughout Saturday’s contest, Everton were uplifted again by the incredible away support. McNeil recognises the role of the travelling Evertonians and is keen to repay them with further victories.

“Every game, they’re amazing and they were amazing again for the full 90 minutes,” he added. “They were with us for every minute. We appreciate what they do for us and we do want to give it back by giving good performances and winning games.

“It’s class, especially with what’s happened. For them, it’s their lives, so it’s massive for them. It was nice to - as a group and as a team - give back to the fans.”