Dyche Gives Verdict On Fulham Draw

Sean Dyche called on everyone at Everton to keep sticking together after his injury-hit Blues put in another impressive display on the road to secure a 0-0 draw at Fulham on Tuesday night.

On his one-year anniversary as Everton manager, Dyche's side shrugged off having five senior central midfielders unavailable - Amadou Onana joining Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes and Dele on the treatment table, with Idrissa Gana Gueye coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations - to display their growing resilience at Craven Cottage.

Taking on a Fulham side with a strong home record this season, the Blues created a string of chances, notably from Arnaut Danjuma in the first half and substitute Beto in injury-time, while showing defensive steel once again, Jordan Pickford producing two superb saves and Ben Godfrey making a goal-saving challenge to thwart Willian.

Everton's gutsy performance was applauded by another sold-out away end at full-time. And despite dropping back into the bottom three following Luton Town's home win over Brighton, Dyche - whose side would be above Fulham in 12th without their 10-point deduction - reiterated the need for players, staff and fans to remain aligned to continue the clear progress being made on the pitch.

He told evertontv: "It was a very open game, which we know they are a bit like that on their home patch. With all the limitations in terms of options we had, I'm very pleased to get another clean sheet and another point.

"We filled our away end again, of course, which is fantastic and they really got behind the players. I thought we looked back to what we want from the group. I said after [the Luton game], you can go too direct, too back to front - but we want that mix. We want to play when we can and we want to be effective. I thought we were at times and we still looked a threat at set pieces, especially right at the end.

"It's a bit of a head-scratcher how we don't get one over the line but I've got to be fair and they had a couple of big chances in the second half. We defended well as a group. We're asking a lot of this group. Dwight has worked hard in midfield but it's not natural to him [to play centrally], of course - he's hardly played there.

"Jack [Harrison] worked ever so hard in front of Dwight and Jimmy Garner, then Arnie [Danjuma] has come in and worked hard, same with Ben [Godfrey]. We're asking a lot of these players.

"The hardest challenge is, when I do these interviews, there are some facts and I don't want to be making excuses because I believe in all of the players here - I think that was on show tonight with the way they went about it with the belief in the group and giving everything to try to win games.

"But it is tough when you're missing key players and players who have proved to be key players and you haven't got that adaptation. I am pleased with that side of it, with everyone coming down here to win the game. I'm not one to look for excuses - the facts are the facts. We are where we are, this is the situation and I'm more interested in working with the team and getting them to play like that because that is a group that is very motivated to win games.

"We've got to continue with that, of course. At the end of the day, it is only a point but a point away from home in the Premier League, and a clean sheet, is a good marker."

Despite having eight more away matches to play in the Premier League this season, Everton have already picked up more points on the road this season (17) than they did in each of their past two seasons (2021/22 - 10 points, 2022-23 - 15 points). Only Liverpool (22), Manchester City (22), Arsenal (20) and Tottenham (19) have picked up more away points in the top-flight this season than the Toffees.

Dyche added: "We need that mentality to stay strong from us and the fans. We stay connected and we keep taking each challenge as it comes. We've had plenty of them in the year I've been here - a year today - but we've got through them.

"We stay connected, we keep working, the players are giving a lot and we have to keep doing that as a minimum, then ask for more from each other."