May 20, 2024

Sean Dyche says Everton’s ability to find wins in different ways has been the ‘most pleasing’ aspect of his side’s strong form.

Strikes from Abdoulaye Doucoure and a first senior Blues goal for Lewis Dobbin ensured the Toffees picked up all three points in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday – the third consecutive win for Dyche’s side.

The Everton manager highlighted left-back Vitalii Mykolenko – the Club’s Player of the Match winner – as a standout during the contest.

The defender won nine defensive duels against Chelsea, totalling more than any player on the field, as he contributed towards a third consecutive Blues clean sheet. Only Arsenal and Newcastle have totalled more than the Toffees’ five this season.

“There were so many good performers,” a delighted Dyche told evertontv. “Myko – what a player he’s turning into. Seeing these players develop is so pleasing. It’s what I started coaching for – to offer them something more than I had as a player.

“Seeing these guys develop right in front of your eyes – that beyond everything, for me, is really pleasing. That, and winning games, of course.”

Heavily involved in Sunday’s encounter, Mykolenko had more touches (50) than any other Everton player. His significance was evident out of possession, too, as it has been during consistently strong defensive showings during the campaign.

Only five Premier League players have made more tackles this season than the Ukraine international (43), who recently revealed to Everton’s Official Matchday Programme that finally recovering from a hip issue, after 18 months of discomfort, has been a key reason behind his form.

“He’s not renowned for a million words, Myko,” acknowledged Dyche. “So, getting some information out of him and trying to get him to share and just chat with you can be interesting.

“But he’s resilient, he’s growing, and his physical presence is growing, as well as his physical understanding of the Premier League. But it’s not just him – Jimmy Garner had two days of sickness [before the Chelsea match].

“To come out and deliver that as a team player – these are things that I think fans do notice, but managers, and coaches, and teammates, they notice all of this stuff.”

The Toffees earned victory with 28.3 per cent possession. Showcasing a different kind of performance, the Blues were more cautious against Chelsea than in their previous two triumphant outings.

Happy to concede possession and defend from a deep position, Everton recorded more than 60 passes fewer against Chelsea than in the games against Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest. The Blues made one tackle in the attacking third on Sunday but registered 16 in the defensive third.

Contrastingly, Dyche’s men were more willing to press high up the field at the City Ground the week before, recording five tackles in the attacking third and just seven in the defensive third.

His team’s ability to adapt has been another pleasing feature for Dyche, who added: “I know we have quality, and we can still play better, but sometimes you have to credit the opposition. They’re a group of highly talented footballers.

“It’s not easy to dominate those games with the ball – let alone, without it. But you have to find ways. That for me, is the most pleasing thing – finding different ways of winning football matches.

“I’m so delighted for everyone around the Club. Fans and players alike. But the reason I don’t go running around the stadium is because we’re on 14 points. That’s the reality. Yes, we’ve had a marvellous run of games.

“All season, I’ve been very pleased with how things have gone and are going, but we’re on 14 points. There is a lot of work to be done.”

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