‘Nerves, tension, injuries’: Sean Dyche admits Everton feeling pressure

  • Everton face crucial six-pointer against Leicester
  • Manager wants better service for Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Sean Dyche has admitted Everton are feeling the nerves and tension of another relegation struggle before their critical visit to Leicester on Monday.

Everton are in serious danger of being relegated for the first time since 1951, having collected one win from the past 10 games. Dyche claims there has been positive change since he replaced Frank Lampard, whose final 10 Premier League matches yielded five points with seven goals scored and 17 conceded. Dyche took six points from his opening three games but his record over the past 10 matches reads seven points won, eight goals scored and 20 conceded. Everton conceded four goals in Dyche’s first four games but have shipped 18 in nine matches since he replaced Conor Coady with Michael Keane in central defence.

The Everton manager believes a lack of consistency over 90 minutes is responsible for the decline, with the team folding in the second half of the past two home defeats, by Newcastle and Fulham.

Asked why, Dyche said: “Nerves, tension, focus, buildup to games, injuries, suspensions, different players coming in and out the side; all those things go into it. You are looking to work through those periods when the challenges come, like we did against Chelsea and Tottenham when we got good points. Then the second half against Fulham and the second half against Newcastle we clearly haven’t affected that. Palace was a bit of a flat one from both teams, I thought. The two that stick in my craw are the second half against Fulham and the second half against Newcastle.”

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s impact since returning from injury has been stifled by a distinct lack of service to the Everton striker, which Dyche admits must improve. Alex Iwobi managed two accurate crosses from seven attempts against Newcastle and Dwight McNeil one from five. The full-backs, Ben Godfrey and Vitalii Mykolenko, managed none.

“First half we had nine efforts on goal to their four so the ball is going into key areas,” Dyche said. “The quality of the ball going in has to improve of course. It is not just the quality but actually getting the ball into key areas more often. That is something we have to look at with the players. We do end up getting into some good areas but not the key area, which is usually the second six-yard box; that is where a lot of goals are scored. That is an area where I definitely want Dom to be. He was getting in there against Newcastle so we have to deliver better at times for sure.”


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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