May 18, 2024

Sean Dyche claims to have advised Dominic Calvert-Lewin on how to deal with injuries, despite the fact that the Everton manager was forced to retire early as a player owing to fitness difficulties.

-Sean Dyche was forced to retire early from playing due to a string of injuries
-He says coming back too soon is a problem and has given his striker time
-Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Coming Up!’

Sean Dyche had to end his playing career prematurely due to a series of injuries, one of which involved him returning to the field before he was fully fit. The current Everton manager, drawing from his own experiences, has been providing advice to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

 

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin will miss six weeks after sustaining a knee injury while training ahead of Saturday's season opener against Chelsea. Photo: AP

 

Calvert-Lewin, the striker, has faced a challenging couple of seasons with injuries, appearing in only 30 out of 76 Premier League matches. He has been candid about his habit of returning to play when he was at just 60% of his peak physical condition. He felt a strong obligation to assist his team, which had been grappling with consecutive relegation battles.

However, at 26 years old, Calvert-Lewin is currently in excellent form, and Everton has won three of their last four matches, with Calvert-Lewin scoring in three of those. He attributes his resurgence to Dyche’s patience during the summer, allowing him to regain trust in his body.

Asked what he did to help his striker, Dyche said: ‘It was something I learned as a player from my own bad moment at Bristol City, getting booed off. It’s mainly because I had eight months out with a back injury, the manager told me, “I want you to be captain and play” so I agreed.

‘I learnt very quickly that I was miles off it, miles off being fit. It cost me badly. So when I look back at my own career, I thought, “Right, something needs to change with Dom so what can we change?”.

‘We needed to give him a chance when he is fit, not when he thinks he is fit. The hardest part of being injured is actually saying you’re injured. You’ll always have this inner voice in your head doubting you and going, “No I think you’ll be alright, you’ll be all right”.

‘And when it happens (another injury) you think, “Why did I do that?”. I felt we together needed to get to the point when you don’t have that fear and you go, “Do you know what, I feel fine”. So my goal wasn’t about him playing.

“I desired him to arrive at the training facility in his own vehicle, engage in warm-up routines, participate in training sessions, have his meal, and then head home. This approach is where genuine fitness can be achieved. When you reach that level, your performance naturally improves. I believe he is very close to achieving this now.”

The player, who has been dealing with injuries, made an early return to the pre-season regimen, commencing in early June, and even sought treatment at a renowned health clinic in Germany, frequently utilized by their national team players. At the time, he likened it to a complete system reboot.

The signing of Beto, a £25 million Portuguese target man, as a reliable backup option, has also relieved the pressure on Calvert-Lewin. He is now poised to start in the upcoming Merseyside Derby against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, a team they have defeated only once in their last 25 league encounters.

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