Dyche's Praise For Taking On Toon Challenge

Sean Dyche has praised his Everton side for "taking the game on" and producing a performance that grew in strength and ultimately delivered an important point in the 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United on Tuesday night. 

The hosts, high on confidence following a dramatic 4-3 win against West Ham United on Saturday, came into the contest eager for three more points that would strengthen their ambitions to secure European football for next season. 

They started brightly and took the lead after quarter of an hour when Harvey Barnes' lofted pass over the Everton defence was seized on by Alexander Isak, who dribbled into the box before slotting past Jordan Pickford and into the bottom corner. 

Everton stood strong, though, and after surviving a scare when the hosts had a second goal ruled out for offside following a VAR check, rallied - aided by a triple substitution as Andre Gomes, James Garner and goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin joined the action with 30 minutes to go. 

The latter netted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute to secure a deserved and valuable point for the Toffees. 

“There was a lot of noise around them (Newcastle) about injuries, but you could see they still put out a very strong side,” said Dyche reflecting on the result with evertontv. “They can score goals, and they have got some players who are in form.

“First half, we weren’t a million miles away I didn’t think. I said at half-time to the players, ‘we aren’t a million miles away here, I can smell it in the room, the feel of the performance’. In the second half, I thought we were really good. We took the game on and totally deserved at least a point - and we finally got another penalty which was pleasing. 

“To bounce back after a really disappointing end of the game on Saturday, and then give that performance in the second half, is very pleasing.”

Tuesday night’s point extended the gap to the relegation zone to four points, and up next is a huge clash against 18th-placed Burnley at Goodison Park (3pm BST). 

Asked what will be key to picking up three points in that contest, Dyche said: “The squad mentality - everyone was out there making a difference tonight. 

“That’s important because I have a saying, ‘be the player that makes the difference’. That is key, and the mentality was key tonight, but it doesn't guarantee the next one, and we have to make sure we guarantee the next one. So that performance needs to go again Saturday.”