Sean Dyche admitted that Everton didn’t perform to the best of their ability in their victory over Crystal Palace – but saluted the fight his troops showed.
The Toffees earned a 3-2 triumph in what proved to be a thrilling affair at Selhurst Park. Vitalii Mykolenko and Adoulaye Doucoure twice put the visitors ahead but were pegged back on each occasion by an Eberechi Eze penalty and a Odsonne Édouard strike either side of half-time.
More drama would unfold, with Everton’s winner coming from an unlikely source in Idrissa Gana Gueye. The midfielder, who came off the bench at half-time slid home in the 86th minute to move the Blues up to 14th in the Premier League table.
Dyche reckons his side didn’t use the ball as well as they could have but was delighted with the battling qualities Everton displayed.
Speaking to Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Dyche said: A fighting performance without a doubt. I think we can play better than that but the fight, the determination and the willingness and mentality to win games is improving all the time.
“They’re a good side, we knew that. We’ve had to defend well as a team, we didn’t really use the ball well. But that little spell before the third goal we were just getting a foothold. It was a fantastic goal, the play, the move and a fantastic finish.
“You have a lapse of concentration, we allowed them to dance into the box. It’s a loose leg and he goes down and it’s given. You’re really frustrated by that. We had to calm down in the first half and second half we defended really well. We’re finding ways to win, that’s a massive factor. We’re growing here.
“This season it’s our responsibility to change the story. We’re beginning to. It’s only beginnings, but we are changing the Everton story. There’s a different feel to what people are writing about us and what they are saying and what the team are delivering. It can’t guarantee you wins, but it gives us a much better chance if you’ve got the mentality that we’ve been showing at the moment.”