Dyche's 'Battle' Call Ahead Of Liverpool Clash

Sean Dyche talked up the importance of his players "winning their individual battles" on Wednesday night as Everton bid to come out on top in the 244th Merseyside derby. 

After a difficult night away to Chelsea last week, the Blues returned to what was a buoyant Goodison Park to take on Nottingham Forest in a high-stakes Premier League contest on Sunday.

Despite the external pressure coming into clash, Dyche's men produced a solid professional performance and ran out worthy 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Idrissa Gana Gueye and Dwight McNeil. 

Everton will again return to Goodison Park tomorrow evening to take on their neighbours from across Stanley Park. After being dumped out of both the FA Cup and Europa League in the past month, Jurgen Klopp's men are fully focused on trying to win the Premier League title.

However, with ambitions to build on Everton's relatively strong position in the table and secure safety as soon as possible, Dyche is calling on his players to match their opposite numbers for intensity and feed into a wider standout display which can deliver a positive result. 

“It’s an old-fashioned term, but win your headers, win your tackles and win your races," said Dyche in Tuesday's press conference held at Finch Farm. "That used to be a big thing when I was playing and it’s still kind of there, really. That’s your own individual moment in a game when you are dealing with whoever you are playing against. 

“That’s for every position. You can win your battles in a different way. If you are a centre forward, you might win it with your cleverness, rather than your physicality. So you know there are different ways to win your battles. 

“I don’t think that goes anywhere other than the start point of a team game. You have to know what your role is against that player, but also your covering role as part of a team unit. So, therefore, rather than worry about each battle, there has to also be connectivity with the team. That’s where the shape becomes important, the tactics and the delivery of a physical performance to cover the ground needed. 

“You want those individual battles for each player to also connect as a team. If you get that right you have a better chance of getting what you want which is to win.”

Everton have tasted defeat in just two of their past 11 league meetings against Liverpool at Goodison Park. 

Yet, the last win against their old foes there came back in 2010. Despite that history being against the Blues, Dyche admitted he is excited for the challenge of what will be his first home derby since arriving at the Club back in January of last year.   

“I’m well aware of all the records people keep telling me and all the rest of it," said Dyche. "But you know, I am looking forward to the game. It’s a game, and derbies are the game for the people where they live. I didn’t grow up here so I won’t have that depth of understanding. 

“What I do understand, is how important it is to be Everton’s manager, that is for sure. In all games, and in particular this one for the obvious reason."

Having played their part in Sunday's win, Dyche also called for more of the same from Evertonians in attendance at Goodison Park on Wednesday night after reiterating their influence had an unquestioned positive impact on the performance of his side in the victory against Forest. 

"[Sunday] was fantastic, I thought," revealed Dyche. "Because it’s not easy, myself and the team were way off and let ourselves down against Chelsea. To respond with fans being in full voice and behind us was a brilliant thing - I couldn’t be more pleased with that side. And the players delivering a performance. 

"Very strong performance physically and giving everything for the shirt. I said that was one thing I could guarantee. That was obviously not on show in the previous game but it was against Forest. The stats back that, the physical stats and the amount of ground covered. The willingness and desire to work hard for the team and for the badge. 

"The crowd saw that and they definitely had an effect from the off. Straight away, the positivity and the feel in the stadium was spot on and I can only ask for more of that."