Dyche's Urge For Blues To Adopt Key Trait

Sean Dyche has urged his Everton players to follow Abdoulaye Doucoure's lead of "playing with freedom" in front of goal and to "change the psychology" of finishing the chances they create.

The Blues fell to a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United on Saturday afternoon at Goodison Park, conceding two stoppage-time strikes against David Moyes’ team.

Despite the scoreline, Everton dominated much of the weekend’s encounter, recording 22 shots to the visitors' 12, while accumulating an expected-goals figure of 2.73 – considerably more than the 1.87 of West Ham.

Everton's only goal of Saturday's game was scored by Beto, and Dyche was satisfied with the performance of the Portuguese, while also praising Toffees’ top scorer Abdoulaye Doucoure, explaining why his side need more players to employ the midfielder's clinical mentality.

“Beto stuck at it, and I’m pleased with his performance,” Dyche told evertontv after the game. “He’s missed a penalty, but he’s been brave, stuck at it, kept getting in the box and keeps trying to score a goal. I’m pleased with his freedom to score a goal because it was a great header - great ball in, it must be said - but he’s still got to finish it.

“We only really removed him from the pitch because he’s fatigued. He hasn’t played as many first-team games so he’s bound to get tired, but I was pleased with his performance.

“Douc as well. He’s always looking to change the game and step on. He’s one we know will do that. He’s got that freedom and will try to score a goal.

“We need more of that. We’ve got players here with real talent. I’ve already described it - if you want to score a goal from open play, you’ve never had more freedom. So let’s just go and professionally relax and have the freedom to score. That’s what’s got to change here - the psychology of it.”

As acknowledged by the Everton manager, it wasn’t the first time the Toffees have created chances without finding a ruthless attacking edge.

Saturday’s match was one of eight Premier League games this season where Everton have accumulated an xG of more than two.

Seven of those have come at Goodison Park, with the Blues creating more chances than the opposition in each of those games.

However, out of the seven, four ended with defeat (West Ham, Manchester United, Luton, Fulham), while just two were wins (Newcastle and Bournemouth) and one was a draw (Tottenham).

Dyche, clearly disappointed at a recurring theme, insists Everton’s work to improve results is a “collective responsibility”.

“We’re a group effort,” he added. “It’s not just me, it’s not just the staff, it’s not just the players; it’s all of us pulling together.

“We do feel like we’re structuring the team well and the performances are good - we have a collective responsibility to win games and that is by scoring goals. You can’t win if you’re not scoring goals.

“We had the chances today to kill the game off and control the game, which we did for large parts. But you can’t just keep not taking that many chances.

“As you can tell, I’m frustrated by that because there’s so much good in that performance, so many good habits, but I can’t keep saying that if we’re not winning games or scoring goals.

“That’s just bizarre for me to say that. But there has to be a truth in the performance and it’s driving me mad, because that’s another good performance, that’s a Premier League performance that probably should win and certainly should not lose. And yet we do and that’s so, so frustrating.”