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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Stephen Killen

'All I ask for' - Sean Dyche sends honest message to Everton fans in first programme notes

Everton manager Sean Dyche says they are determined to bring the "good feel" back as they host Arsenal in his first game in charge.

The newly-appointed Blues boss was unveiled on Monday after he was tasked to steer the club clear of the relegation zone in his first job since he was sacked by Burnley in April.

Two points separate Everton and safety with a superior goal-difference compared to rivals Bournemouth, Wolves and Southampton. Dyche will be in the home dugout for the first time this afternoon as they welcome Premier League leaders Arsenal with Mikel Arteta's side looking to move eight points clear.

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The 51-year-old addressed reporters for the first time on Thursday as he was quizzed on matters surrounding the club, transfer window as well as off the pitch.

Writing his programme notes for the first time, Dyche spoke of the 'honour' to pen his thoughts as Everton manager. "I know about Everton’s illustrious history, passionate fanbase and what a huge club I have had the privilege of joining, and I’m looking forward to my staff and I playing our part in getting us back on track," he said. "It’s a big challenge ahead, but one we are ready and eager to take on...

"...We must all realise that everything starts with hard graft. I’m not doubting that has been here before I joined and I would never question other managers and coaches but I’ve got to imprint my feeling and style to the team and the Club.

"One which can win while being supported by you as fans. The connection between us all can then strengthen as we attempt to align the whole club from top to bottom and can then grow again quickly into a powerful unit from the Boardroom through to you as fans.

"I’ve managed teams at Goodison Park many times and the atmosphere is truly unique when this grand stadium is rocking. We know it has been a tough time recently but we are determined to bring back that good feel.

"All I ask for is a bit of a breather to get the team operating because it is vital there is unity and we are all aligned right the way from the ownership, the staff, players and our fans," he added. "Of course, that starts with me as manager and our players giving you something to grip hold of and get fired up for. I have to earn your respect which I appreciate and will endeavour to do - I don’t expect a free ride, I assure you.

"We are not where we want to be in the Premier League but there is real quality in this squad and sometimes it takes just a few adjustments to improve. The task for my staff and I is to make our players shine."

Arsenal are unbeaten since September and sit five points clear of nearest challengers Manchester City. Demarai Gray spearheaded an Everton comeback in this fixture last season to claim three points.

The situation is different but the objective is just as important for the Blues and for the new manager, he expressed the importance of sticking to their principles.

"Arsenal are league leaders for a reason and we are under no illusion as to the size of the task ahead of us this afternoon," he continued.

"It is vital we stick to what we need to do and focus on each individual game as it comes. I want us to play with style but an effective style. We need to mix our play and ask questions of the opposition. We also want to add quality to our hard work.

"If we do that, we will get our supporters on board. I’ve experienced Goodison bursting at the seams when the energy is so powerful and it makes such a difference. There’s nothing better than a player going out on the pitch and knowing their fans are behind them.

"We are fortunate to have that from Evertonians. It’s up to us to do our part to show we are giving everything so we can build your respect and join together in order to move forwards."


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