Sean Dyche called for major changes at Everton after their latest dramatic escape from relegation, and he insisted survival was only the first step in the rebuilding work needed for the club to act big again.
Dyche enjoyed “getting the job done” courtesy of Abdoulaye Doucouré’s winner against Bournemouth but admitted Everton’s predicament in fighting a second successive relegation battle was no great cause for celebration. Everton’s win sent Leicester down, and Leeds were also relegated after a 4-1 home defeat by Tottenham.
Dyche said: “I never thought this was an easy fix because it is not, far from it. There is a massive amount of work to be done. The thing I’ve learned about Everton is the fans have been amazing, they want the club to be in the top end of the market but the club currently is not at the top end.
“It’s a big club, make no mistake. Big history, big club but we are not performing like a big club. We have to find a way of changing that. This is two seasons now. I’ve played my little part but there is massive amount of change to build to a new dawn, a new future, a bigger future if you like.
“I think the Evertonians, as remarkable as they have been, have to remember that. This is a bigger project than just: ‘Oh well, it’s all right now.’ It’s not because there is a lot of work required as this has been going on for two years. I don’t have magic dust, I can only make things happen I think are believable.”
Dyche said players may have to be sold to raise funds for a rebuild and does not expect a “war chest” to spend in the transfer market.
“There’s a chance, I’ll find out about that,” Dyche said on the possibility of sales. “There’s not been any depth, there have been peripheral talks based on ifs, buts and maybes. But that will come over the coming weeks when we find out the truth of what we have got, what we can do, what we can’t do. First things first but this [staying up] was the main job. We had to get this sorted out; we’ve got it over the line. It was absolutely the key focus. Now it is time to immediately refocus on the rest of it.
“I have my own style and way of doing it. I’ve taken a step towards that. I know the industry, I’ve been in it all my life. I know what I’m doing.”
Everton started without a recognised striker or full-backs because of injury and the imbalance of their squad. Dyche said: “It’s a horrible day for all concerned. There is no joy in it for me other than getting the job done: loads of work, trying to compact so much change into such a relatively short period – particularly with injuries and suspensions, contracts and all the stuff going on here.
“The underlying bigger news of Everton since I’ve been here has been more or less negative about everything, so that I’ve had to try to change and that’s been difficult. But the positive side is we got the job done.
“I came in here to change a mentality and I think there have been signs of that. There is still more to go. I said to the players: ‘We shouldn’t be in this position. Enjoy today, you’ve earned it, but it has got to change.’”