‘I said’ - Sean Dyche makes honest Everton fans claim in relegation battle
Everton were beaten 3-1 by Fulham and sit 17th in the Premier League table.
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The Toffees were well below par in a 3-1 loss to Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday. The home side could have no complaints and remain above the drop zone only on goal difference.
Dwight McNeil’s 35th-minute equaliser cranked up the volume inside the Grand Old Lady and had supporters believing. But a meek second-half display meant that those in the stands started to head for the exit doors after Dan James scored Fulham’s third goal - despite 20 minutes still being left on the clock.
Everton have seven fixtures remaining with four of them on the road - having won just once on their travels all campaign.
Dyche knows the task the Blues face to keep their top-flight status and knows the fans will be imporant. He said: “One thing we’re sure of is that I won’t be questioning the fans because since I’ve been here they’ve been absolutely amazing. Everyone knows that and as soon as we scored they got right behind the team but it’s a dual thing, I said when I came here: ‘We’ve got to give them something and they give us something back or vice versa, they sometimes give you something as a team, the energy’.
“But it’s a dual responsibility. We started a bit edgy, they started a bit edgy, we scored and they erupted and got right on it. After Fulham’s second goal, we didn’t give them enough to go on - you’ve got to give the fans something to go on.
“The away form has been poor for the last two years, I can’t brush that away - that’s the truth. So you’ve got two years of correction and what we’ve been trying to do is correct the mentality of away form and performance level because they’re hand in hand.
“That’s the challenge, it’s been there for two seasons. That’s the correction that we’re looking for. It’s work, it’s constant talking with the players, constant work on the training ground and building that mentality. I must remind you that games like Fulham are hard, there’s no two ways about it, but there have been definite steps forward with that, they’ve been quite obvious, everyone’s been speaking about it.
"There have been strides forward by the players in terms of mentality and taking performances away from home as well but this was a stark reminder you’ve got to be at it all the time and another word I’ve been using all the time is consistency, during a performance, not just every week, during a 90 minutes.”