Everton must avoid another Sir Alex Ferguson moment after damning Sean Dyche comments

Everton take on Manchester United at Goodison Park on Saturday looking to give their Premier League survival hopes a boost.

It was team talk that's gone down in footballing history.

Sir Alex Ferguson knew he needed just three words before Manchester United took on Tottenham Hotspur.

‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’

At the time, the Red Devils were a bona fide superpower. They were at the height of a golden error - at the zenith of European football.

Spurs, on the other hand, were in a period where they persistently flattered to deceive.

Despite being a side easy on the eye, playing attractive football, tangible success was scant.

Ferguson knew they were United's minnows - and played on that.

The Scot's pre-match words to his troops as Roy Keane recalled in his autobiography, dismissed Tottenham as lightweights.

“Lads, it's Tottenham," was the blunt message Ferguson sent out.

Keane revealed that was the simple reassurance United needed to go out and deliver victory.

Former Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson on the bench at Tottenham Hotspur’s former ground White Hart Lane. Picture: Craig Prentis/ALLSPORT

In truth, it's something Spurs have still to expunge from their history. They may never do so.

And as Everton prepare to host Ferguson's former outfit tomorrow, they have to ensure a similar, bluff dressing-room speech does not become infamously etched into Goodison Park history.

‘I’m not sure these know how to win a game’

Sean Dyche's words at half-time of Everton's loss at Burnley pinpointed the glaring deficiencies he knew could be exposed.

Despite the Clarets finding themselves 2-1 down on their own patch - and trailing the Toffees by four points ahead of kick-off - Dyche delivered a frank message that would inspire a victory.

Come the final whistle, Dyche‘s speech had the profound impact he hoped for.

He knew Everton could - and would - buckle under pressure after picking up just one league victory on their travels all season.

Indeed, Burnley not only clawed their way back into the game but hauled Frank Lampard's side further into the relegation mire by coming back to win 3-2.

Shoddy defending and individual errors, the traits of Everton's season, saw Jay Rodriguez and Maxwel Cornet inspire the Clarets to victory.

Burnley's Ivorian defender Maxwel Cornet (centre left) celebrates with teammates after scoring there third goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on April 6, 2022.

In the aftermath, Evertonians aplenty felt their club was condemned to relegation.

Despite still having 27 points to play for, swathes started to accept their Championship fate.

If defeat against a Burnley side that's persistently hovered around the bottom three could not be avoided, they questioned where the points so desperately required would subsequently come from.

The Blues had an opportunity to loosen the noose around their neck. Instead, the grip tightened.

Yet hope has not completely perished. Even in the current plight, some hold optimism - Lampard included.

The underbelly of the Everton team has been scrutinised. The calibre of players, on paper, has not.

The dressing room is made up of a squad that was assembled to mount a challenge at the European places.

It's littered with international players, some who're supposedly coveted by top sides.

There is more than enough quality for Lampard's outfit to avoid relegation.

On Saturday, they host a Man Utd side who've spluttered all season and have had similar questions asked about their make-up.

It's not the United during the Ferguson era. Far from it. They sit sixth and have gone another season without a trophy.

The majority of Everton's better performances have come against the sides in the top half of the division this campaign.

They held United to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October. They should have earned a point against leaders Manchester City a few weeks ago only for a horrendous VAR error.

On the face on things, it augurs well.

There's still ample time for Everton to drag themselves out of their predicament.

But if the worst does happen, Dyche's words may become indelible for years to come.