'The stronger side' - Sean Dyche on Leeds United changes, 'obsession' and Everton game magnitude

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Sean Dyche has provided his assessment of the recent Leeds United changes and the magnitude of Saturday’s showdown against his Everton side at Goodison Park.

New Toffees boss Dyche will take charge of his third Everton game in charge in Saturday afternoon’s clash against visiting Leeds for whom caretaker boss Michael Skubala is also set for a third game at the helm.

Skubala, Chris Armas and Paco Gallardo are in temporary charge of Leeds who remain on the hunt for a new head coach after sacking Jesse Marsch following the 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest at the start of the month.

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Dyche watched that contest from the City Ground stands and felt the Whites were “arguably” the better team despite not leaving with a single point. It was, though, a continuation of that theme that led to Marsch losing his job following the defeat to Forest that left Leeds fourth-bottom and only outside of the Premier League drop zone on goal difference.

ASSESSMENT: Of Leeds United changes from Everton boss Sean Dyche, above. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.ASSESSMENT: Of Leeds United changes from Everton boss Sean Dyche, above. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.
ASSESSMENT: Of Leeds United changes from Everton boss Sean Dyche, above. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Caretaker boss Skubala then led the Whites to a 2-2 draw at Manchester United three days later before the Red Devils left Elland Road with a 2-0 victory in Sunday’s Elland Road rematch. Dyche, meanwhile, immediately hit lift off in his first game of charge of Everton who upset title-chasing Arsenal at Goodison Park before Monday night’s 2-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield.

Third-bottom Everton and fourth-bottom Leeds are separated by just a point but Dyche has insisted that every game in the division is “must win” following his assessment of a Leeds side with “twists and tweaks” after Marsch’s sacking.

Speaking at Thursday afternoon’s pre-match press conference, Dyche was asked what he had made to the changes at Leeds and reasoned: “Like fine margins in many situations. I saw them at Forest and arguably I thought they were the stronger side on the day but they didn't win.

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"That can happen. We take everyone seriously, I certainly do in the Premier League, our players do, they will have the knowledge of the opposition, some of the twists and tweaks that we think have changed slightly but also a lot of thought going into our performance and finding that right balance of opening up enough of the game and being productive whilst staying tight enough to make sure that you look after yourselves."

Pressed about the media labelling the contest as ‘must win’ and how he saw it, Dyche reasoned: "Every game is a must win in the Premier League. The Premier League is a very, very unforgiving part of football and every game is important. We have just shown that. People could have written off the Arsenal game but we go and win.

"It's a very important three points, every three points no matter how it comes is important so my focus is on the next game. Regardless who it is, we're learning about the players, we're pushing them hard, we're pushing their boundaries, of course not enough where we stretch them too far.

"We're trying to push for the next level, trying to push for the next performance and that'll be key to us, keep performing at a very consistent level and then push the consistency. And something I've been obsessed with for many years is raising the minimum.

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"How can we raise the minimum? How can we stop really quiet days and off days and collective down days so we're pushing that as well, finding consistency on the training ground, that's got to go into performances and I'm well aware we have to do it rapid style. We have to get that consistency of that mentality as a constant."