Everton manager Sean Dyche insists his players are not “thick” and understand the deficiencies which saw them embarrassed at Aston Villa last weekend.
The 4-0 defeat left the Toffees point-less at the bottom of the table and having written off the performance as a collective off-day Dyche wants to see a return to the aggressive footballing approach with increased physicality.
But he admits he did not have to do much with the squad to get that message across.
“Footballers aren’t as thick as people think, especially about their profession. It doesn’t take a lot for me to point out what was wrong. They know.
“Therefore, it’s about talking to them about it. I wasn’t screaming and shouting at them.
“They come off the pitch and know what has gone wrong, what is shouting going to prove?
“Football gives you a jolt now and again. The minimum (requirement) is a better showing than last week, the collective mentality, the physicality of the performance.
“There wasn’t enough aggression, not crazy aggression but that fight, that edge to a performance.
“There wasn’t that bite and determination in our performance in and out of possession.”
Dyche is confident the Villa Park humiliation was an aberration from which his side can bounce back from at home to next-bottom Wolves, also without a point.
And he has reminded his squad they have already shown the necessary mindset when escaping relegation on the final day of the season.
“They have the fight, desire spirit and quality to look after themselves,” he added.
“A short while ago they were going through some tough games and intense pressure and came through it.
“We’ve had a tough start, with one bad performance. If you look, the first few games of a season often bring odd results, it’s not brand new to me, but you have to react to that.”
Dyche’s squad numbers are dwindling by the week with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (cheekbone) and midfielder Alex Iwobi (hamstring) the latest to be ruled out while new signing Youssef Chermiti is not quite ready and on-loan Leeds winger Jack Harrison is not yet training with the team due to a outstanding hip problem.
New recruits are proving difficult to come by – Southampton forward Che Adams is of interest but the club have not been able to get a deal over the line due to their limited budget – and Everton’s recent record and current league position will not help that.
But Dyche is hopeful he can put forward a persuasive argument.
“Usually it is ‘Come and make a difference’,” he said.
“’Add to what’s here and be part of changing it and pushing it in the right direction’.
“It is a great story to make a difference at a club like Everton, in my opinion.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub