Dominic Calvert-Lewin responds to Everton ‘only in it for money’ and ‘doesn’t care’ claims

The striker has scored three goals in Everton’s past five games after a catalogue of injury problems.
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin hailed Everton manager Sean Dyche’s approach that ‘took a lot of guts’ to ensure the pressure was off him in a bid to find full fitness.

The striker struggled with various injury issues throughout the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns respectively. After Dyche took charge as Toffees boss in January, Calvert-Lewin suffered a hamstring problem in the former Burnley supremo’s first game in charge.

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Despite Everton being in a relegation battle, Dyche did not rush Calvert-Lewin back to availability - and consistently refused to give a time frame on a potential return date when probed by the media. What’s more, during the pre-season period ahead of the 23-24 campaign, the Blues were again patient with the England international - and he even was omitted from the match-day squad for the loss to Fulham on the opening day of the season.

And after unfortunately suffering a fractured cheekbone after colliding with goalkeeper Martinez in a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa, Calvert-Lewin has now featured in Everton’s past five games - scoring three times.

The former Sheffield United marksman saluted Dyche’s decisions to ensure that he was not again rushed back - and believes he’s reaping the rewards. Speaking to Everton’s match-day programme ahead of the 3-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend, Calvert-Lewin said: “The manager has played a massive role. I think I've been a victim of my own eagerness in trying to rush back and also the expectation from others, at times, in wanting me to be fit because of what I can bring to the table.

“I think it turned into a bit of a vicious cycle. Now, since the manager came in, he's been big on me trusting my body again and feeling good in my body. It's not about just ticking off the boxes in terms of being fit to play, it's more about how I feel in myself. It took a lot of guts from the manager to bat off questions about me every week.

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“He put it to bed by saying I'd be back when I was ready and that gave me confidence and a bit of relief, really. It took the pressure off myself and removed that feeling of having to rush back. I like to think it's paid off so far. The condition that people see me now - that's from the manager allowing me to get there.”

Calvert-Lewin played through the pain barrier around this time last season. He had a dislocated shoulder along with lateral collateral ligament in his knee. He knew he was at his best and sections of supporters felt he wasn’t fully committed. However, Calvert-Lewin stressed it was a stark contrast.

He added: “I think you look back at those performances compared to what I can produce- and people can start to kind of think: 'He doesn't care'. Then there can be another narrative of only being in it for money but money has no correlation to feeling and what someone is actually giving to be available.

“For me, when you care so much it can become fiery at times and that's just because there's so much passion involved. because there is so much passion, when things are going well, you are feeling on top of the world - and when they're not going well, it comes with the territory that it's going to fall on my shoulders.

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“I understand it's only because we all care so much about Everton being successful. The stress I was putting myself through to try to play, only to be at 60%, it wasn't worth it. The new manager came in and put a stop to it and made sure I was able to be patient to get fully fit.”