May 19, 2024

Sean Dyche was speaking after his Everton side twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Everton displayed the “relentless attitude” Sean Dyche has been desperate to instill as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Chelsea.

Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ellis Simms were the heroes as the Blues fought their way to a valuable point at Stamford Bridge. The match was the second consecutive away game in which Everton, a side that has struggled for goals all season, scored twice in.

Dyche has repeatedly sought to drive into his players the value of believing anything is possible if they can stay within games. He believes – with justification – there was evidence of that resilience on show on Saturday night.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw, he said: “Relentless attitude, I call it. Games can change on many different factors. Trying to build that consistency throughout a 90-95 minute performance and what can change and how you change it and build momentum and re-find momentum and all these things; trying to establish a way of working and a base I get to work from to give us a chance to win games and be in games even if things are not going well for you.

“And I think it was kind of on show tonight. The first half was very good defensively, we were very resilient, and there was some good individual defending, but we didn’t create much, and didn’t use the ball anywhere near as well. At half-time, I said, ‘lads, the transition is important but it is not just the physical transition, it is the mental transition’ – are you tuned in to then go and play?’ And I thought that improved in the second half in pockets.”

Joao Felix initially put Chelsea ahead, his low effort squeezing in off the far post just after the break. Doucoure’s header leveled before Kai Havertz restored the home side’s advantage from a penalty that Dyche questioned the legitimacy of. With the game entering its final minutes, Everton’s traveling support looked set to go home disappointed once again until Simms slotted in for his first senior goal for the club to spark frenzied celebrations in the away end and seal a vital point.

It was the first time that the Blues had salvaged a positive result after going behind in a game under Dyche, who believed it was a clear sign of progress. He said: “We are beginning to find that way of not being so disappointed. If a goal goes in well it’s gone, that’s it, it’s done. We can talk about it the next day, not while the game is going on.

“I think we reacted very well to that, scored a goal ourselves, went down again to a penalty – a maybe for me that went against us – and then the mentality again was still to keep driving, still to keep asking questions and I thought that was on show and it is growing.”

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