Dyche's Programme Notes For West Ham Clash

Good afternoon and welcome to Goodison Park for today’s match against West Ham United. 

To begin my notes, we were pleased to gain some clarity earlier this week in terms of the points deduction we were given in November. Following the Club’s appeal, four points were handed back to us from the 10 points that were initially taken. 

That saw us climb two places up the league table, which is naturally pleasing, but our focus must continue to be what it has been throughout the process and that is to concentrate on what we can directly affect – producing performances on the pitch that will earn us points to keep moving in the right direction. 

That focus must always be channelled in that way, regardless of what is going on around the Club. I have been pleased with the way the players and staff have done so this season and that has been translated into a consistent level of strong performances throughout the campaign. 

It is easy to talk about the effectiveness of that approach when you are winning matches but the application and commitment of everyone has been unwavering, even during this run where we haven’t picked up as many wins as we would have liked or, in some instances, our performances have deserved. 

The noise changes when you win. I think a lot of the performances during this recent run have been very good, some of them better than the four consecutive wins we had in December but, ultimately, you have to find wins. 

That responsibility on us as a group of players and staff never goes away and we must keep working intensely and start to deliver more in key moments when they come around. 

Last weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion was another example of being left with a sense of frustration after being a few minutes away from inflicting only a second home defeat of the season on a side who have shown how strong they are on home soil over the past couple of years. 

I’ll credit Brighton because I thought for the first 20 minutes, they started really brightly, which they tend to do, and we warned our players of that. We knew we would have to be resolute and we were.  

Then, in the last 20 of the first half, I thought we really grew into it and delivered a much better game with possession. That continued into the second half, which I thought was a very good away performance.  

We scored and looked in good shape at that period. Unfortunately, we give away what we would deem a soft goal. It’s a good cross from them and a good header but we could have stopped that at the source and done better with that.  

But, overall, there were positives to take. We take a point and we move forward. I was also pleased this week to see three players – Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson and Youssef Chermiti – get some minutes for the Under-21s and really contribute to the game to help maintain their fitness and match sharpness. 

Our current injury situation is improving again and hopefully settling down after a hectic festive period. Arnaut Danjuma and André Gomes are working hard to get back to full fitness, while we continue to support Dele with his rehabilitation having been very unfortunate with a couple of setbacks from a groin injury. 

Today we welcome David Moyes, his players, staff and everyone connected to West Ham United. I have plenty of admiration for David’s approach and, as I know you will not need reminding, what he built here at Everton with our club’s hard-working, honest core reflected in the style and approach of the team. 

Similarly, over a number of years and with investment from West Ham’s owners, he has built a talented squad that is competitive both domestically and on the European stage. As always, though, our main focus will be on ourselves and getting on the front foot to utilise the special effect Goodison can have and, crucially, putting three more points on the board. 

We take confidence from our win in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, while knowing every game throws up a unique set of challenges that we must be ready to meet head on. Let’s keep moving forward – together. 

Enjoy the game.