“Pleasure because it was arguably my hardest task in management to keep us up and we managed it [courtesy of Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal],” the Everton manager said. “Pain because we were there in the first place.”
Yet, for the opening weeks of this campaign, it has certainly been more pain than pleasure for those of an Everton persuasion. Dyche may have well believed that his team were beginning to turn a corner with their first Premier League win against Brentford being backed-up by a League Cup triumph over Aston Villa.
But Everton returned to their usual ways by losing at home to Luton last weekend, which was their fourth league loss at Goodison Park this term, making this their worst start to a home campaign for 65 years.
Barring the visit of Arsenal, Dyche’s team have welcomed amiable visitors in Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham, but have conceded five goals and scored just once themselves. A combination of weak finishing and defending has underpinned the defeat.
A fifth straight home loss on Saturday would do little to inspire the Goodison faithful who are already at the end of their tether. Dyche said he has seen improvement in Everton’s performances this season but results must follow.
“We were dominant last week in so many metrics both afterwards in analysis but also with our eyes on the field. It was a very good and strong performance but we didn’t win,” he said.
“I’m always acutely aware we are in the business of winning matches and we have not won enough. The last big thing to change is taking our opportunities to take control of games we are dominating.
“We had just won two games and then noises change really quickly [from the outside]. This season we have definitely shown more consistent level of performances, but not outcomes. We have a good mindset but every time we are on the cusp of changing the noise, we take a step backwards.”
On whether the pressure at Goodison Park is affecting his team, Dyche added: “It is nothing to do with the fans. I cannot think of anything better than scoring a goal at home because the fans go mad and that has to be a benefit.”
Pairing Calvert-Lewin and Beto may be an answer
Everton will hope to muster more of a threat against a Bournemouth team who are still searching for a first league win under new manager Andoni Iraola and have conceded 15 league goals so far.
There is the possibility that Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has scored three goals in three games, could partner summer signing Beto, who is yet to get off the mark in the league, in a double strike-force in an attempt to take the game to the visitors.
Whichever lineup Dyche opts for, there will be pressure on the manager to deliver a solution to home woes — otherwise, Bournemouth will view this as the perfect opportunity to collect their first three points.