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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Joe Thomas

What Sean Dyche did in Finch Farm media room showed Everton fans a new approach to relegation fight

Everton have a new manager and everyone wanted to talk to him.

For the second consecutive January transfer window the club added a hunt for a new leader to its list of jobs and, while last month did not lead to any new players, it did at least lead to Sean Dyche. By the time it reached the allotted start time of 2.15pm for his first press conference as Blues boss it was standing room only in the media suite at Finch Farm.

An hour earlier the 'car park full' sign was already outside the front gates of the training complex and the cars parked on Finch Lane stretched alongside the semi-detached houses Marcelo Bielsa had viewed on Google Maps as possible homes should he have ended up in the hotseat.

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How Everton ended up with Dyche and not Bielsa - or anyone else - is the source of much speculation but one thing is clear: Dyche ultimately got the role and he does not care about the process that led to his appointment. The 51-year-old was confident, assertive and engaging as he took questions for the first time in his new job. It is unfortunate that a manager who was officially in post for only the final 36 hours of the transfer window ended up being the club official first in front of the media following a month of disappointment.

He did not deserve that and supporters are still owed a wider explanation for how a relegation-threatened squad emerged from a month of opportunity weaker than it started. But, just as it was predictable Dyche's first public act would be to deal with issues he bore no responsibility for, it was entirely predictable that he would be able to handle them.

No-one expected him to use his platform for the first time to complain about not having his hand strengthened. And he did not. Will his answers - that those involved in recruitment at the club tried their best and did not, at least, panic spend on risky gambles - provide reassurance for worried supporters? Maybe, maybe not. But his demeanour should offer some hope.

This is a manager who knows the terrain he is now operating on. He also has a good idea what supporters want to hear. His ethics and values are centred on hard work, honesty, grit, determination, fight and pride. He is a compelling figure and it was obvious when engaging with him on Thursday afternoon that he will not shy away from hard truths. Nor will he suffer fools. He was happy to share jokes with reporters off-camera though - immediately giving his famous lookalike game an outing by comparing one attendee in the room to a Football League manager - and remained at ease when speaking on the record.

For the first Everton press conference in weeks the power and momentum shifted back to the figure in the Hummel-made club clothes. And what was abundantly clear from his first outing as Everton boss is that whatever happens under his watch, the side supporters see week in and week out between now and the end of this campaign will give everything for them, for the shirt, for the club. Dyche will not stand for anything less.


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