Tuesday, 27 February

Everton 3-0 Newcastle: Sean Dyche's side in 'psychologically massive' climb out of bottom three

Sports News
Everton players jubilate

Just 20 days after being plunged into the relegation zone with a huge feeling of injustice, Everton are already out of it.

An unprecedented 10-point deduction saw them drop from 14th position to one place off the bottom but Sean Dyche's side are on the road to recovery.

The Toffees left it late on Thursday night to beat Newcastle 3-0 at Goodison Park, but the three points allowed them to leapfrog Luton Town and drag themselves out of the danger zone.

On moving out of the bottom three, Dyche told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We moved into it. Without those 10 points [deducted], we'd be in an amazing position - 20 points would be amazing relatively to the last two seasons here.

"We will see what the appeal brings. The mentality is key for me, we took a knock but there have been a lot of knocks here over the last couple of years.

"But the team mentality is growing. I can't emphasise it enough, the commitment to each other and the connection is a powerful thing because I know we've got quality."

Win a 'reward' for fans' backing

| Dwight McNeil scored the 16th goal of his career with 14 of those coming under Sean Dyche

The feeling of injustice following the biggest sporting sanction handed down in top-flight history remains raw at Goodison Park.

Before the game, the Premier League anthem was loudly jeered once more while new protest cards were published and held aloft with 'Protecting the few, not the many' printed on them.

But the anger that had simmered beforehand turned to sheer joy by full-time.

Two players who have been so important under Dyche came to the fore once more, with Dwight McNeil scoring his 16th career goal, with 14 of those coming under the ex-Burnley boss, while Abdoulaye Doucoure netted his 10th under the manager.

There was time for summer signing Beto to get his first in the league too to give Everton a thoroughly deserved victory.

Everton came into the game following a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and their away home has been excellent so far, but it is their troubles at home that has needed fixing.

They did this in emphatic fashion to collect just their second victory in front of their fans this season and achieve back-to-back league wins for the first time under Dyche.

The viewpoint from fans and pundits has been that is it a 'good season' to be docked points as Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United - who currently occupy the relegation spots - face an immediate return to the Championship.

Dyche said: "With so many enforced changes, I was so pleased. You have heard me talk about the mentality this season and you can sense a connected group. We are onto something.

"I don't change my storyline, my value is a season's work. The ups and downs of it are what you have to control as a manager and the results too but the end of the season is where it is count.

"The points [deduction] is done therefore let's get on with it and the players have been responsive to that and parked it.

"We cannot guarantee anything [deducted points] coming back but we have to keep playing hard like we were anyway. The performances levels have been good and them into winning performances.

"It was a good performance against Manchester United [a 3-0 defeat in their previous home game] and we backed that up with another two good performances.

"The amount of fans that get in here every time we play here is a reward for them. They have supported us without doubt in their numbers but also in voice."

Former Everton forward James McFadden, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, emphasised the importance of Thursday's win.

"Being out of the bottom three is massive for Everton," he said.

"This season they have created chance after chance, not taken them and not got the points their play has deserved - and it looked like it might be that way again.

"It's massive psychologically for them to get the win today."

Source: bbc.com