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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Joe Thomas

'I haven’t forgotten that' - Sean Dyche has clear vision for Everton

Sean Dyche believes the Everton 'turn around' story would be compelling. He is desperate to now write it.

The new Blues boss is openly proud at having been appointed to the role. He remembers the club at its best and, while many would now argue it is at one of its lowest ebbs, the 51-year-old views the chance to change its fortunes as a golden opportunity.

Is it a difficult challenge? He accepts it is, but remains undeterred. "Of course it is a hard situation", he said as he spoke to the press for the first time in his new job. "I am aware of that, but I am still excited. It is Everton Football Club and I am pretty proud to get the opportunity, I can assure you."

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Dyche is well-versed in fighting in the lower reaches of the Premier League with a side whose resources are limited in comparison to those around it. That is the position he finds himself in after joining a club second from bottom and having failed to strengthen during a transfer window in which every one of Everton's rivals spent millions. His experience makes him a reassuring appointment but so too does his respect for the history and passion that runs through the biggest club he has taken the reigns of.

Others have suggested Dyche and Everton may have been a good match earlier in the regime of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, during which the club has spent seven years lurching between managers and directors of football. He is not so sure - and is clear that despite rumours to the contrary he has never applied for the top job at Everton, nor has he been approached by the club.

But asked whether this is now the right time, he said: "I think it’s changed. Maybe not a few years ago, maybe the timing would have been wrong, not that I was ever interviewed, but maybe there is a different viewpoint now given they’ve gone through a few different scenarios. I don’t mind that... You have certain managers for certain jobs and certain situations. I’d never be backing away from that. I know my skill-set, I know where it can enhance things. Coaches sometimes fit a different job."

Dyche has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Everton - one that means that, should he achieve what no other manager has under Moshiri and reach the end of his contract, he will likely lead the club into its new stadium. At the moment his focus is purely on the short term - Arsenal on Saturday, then the Merseyside derby, then every other step on the road to Premier League survival. But there is a wider vision underpinning his approach, one soaked in the rich past of a club he wants to create a better future for.

If Dyche may be the perfect fit for Everton as it is now, what Everton is the perfect fit for him? His answer: "A team that embraces the past and understands it, while building the future. I remember the mid-80s team really clearly. But they weren’t just players – they had fight, they had a teamship that you could feel through a TV screen, unsung heroes became heroes, some unfashionable types suddenly became these brilliant footballers. You’ve got to embrace that feel. The fans played their part in that by gluing it all together.

"I haven’t forgotten that but of course we need a future version of that kind of feel. I thought; ‘Can I play my part in giving some of that to it?’ I think I can. On top of that you want ability, and of course the game has changed, but the great feel to that time at the club, we’ve got to embrace while building the future. Don’t forget the values of the club. I’m not saying it has been forgotten. The fire is still there, we’ve just got to ignite it."

Dyche's confidence is refreshing after the difficult final days of Frank Lampard's time at Goodison Park. He, like everyone around him, will hope it is infectious. But there are still twinges of nervous excitement, particularly in the build up to his debut. He said: "I will have that game-day anxiety – are they going to deliver what we’ve been working on? - but of course there will be excitement. It’s Everton Football Club. I know about it, I know the history.

"Imagine the chance to turn it around? Imagine the chance I have to play my part, because there are a lot of people involved in this, in reshaping things and turning it around? That is exciting. Of course it is a hard situation, I am aware of that, but I am still excited. It is Everton Football Club and I am pretty proud to get the opportunity, I can assure you, albeit every manager would like to get it in a better shape than it is at the minute in regards to the table. I am proud to be here."


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