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Everton centre-half James Tarkowski insists the Toffees need to build on Saturday’s unexpected 1-0 triumph over league leaders Arsenal.
Tarkowski won the contest for the Blues with a second-half header in new manager Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of Everton, strengthening belief that the club’s new era could start with a great escape from relegation.
Burnley links were strong at Goodison Park on Saturday with Dyche calling the shots from the touchline and ex-Claret Dwight McNeil planting a corner on Tarkowski’s head for the fixture’s only goal. Tarkowski, of course, had spent six years at Turf Moor before his switch to Merseyside.
Tarkowski says Dyche’s methods are having an early impact
Everton’s blood and guts display against the Gunners was light years from the dross they had produced in the final weeks of previous manager Frank Lampard’s ill-fated tenure, and Tarkowski believes his teammates are already buying into Dyche’s gameplan.
“It’s never nice and all the lads loved the manager (Lampard) but it was just unfortunate we couldn’t give him any results,” Tarkowski said after Saturday’s contest.
“I think the way we played is just exactly what the manager wants. It’s very straightforward with the manager.
“He gets you to work hard, gets you together as a team, makes you hard to beat but he wants you to show that personality out on the pitch, that you are a team and together.
“He’s not that old school that we just stand there with no balls and just run back and forward (in training). That was a short period in the week.
“He’s not a complicated manager. He’s very simple, very straightforward, so it’s not hard to buy into what he’s about.
“You’ve seen it already after a week’s work that pretty much everyone has bought into it already.
“But we’ve got to keep building on that and it will be down to working hard again and we’ll all go into next week’s game (the Merseyside derby at Anfield) and we’ll look forward to it.”
The hard work starts now for Everton
Everton managed to lift themselves off the foot of the Premier League table with their shock win over leaders Arsenal, and the Toffees will have enjoyed a timely confidence boost ahead of another tough run of games following their triumph against Mikel Areteta’s title favourites.
Next up for the Toffees is the Merseyside Derby against rivals Liverpool at Anfield, and with the Reds currently looking a shadow of their former selves, Everton will believe they can cause another upset.
After that titanic tussle, Everton have a kind run of three games at Goodison Park inside four fixtures. First up, they face relegation rivals Leeds and Unai Emery’s improvingAston Villa in back-to-back home matches.
In the first week of March, Everton then head to the City Ground to lock horns with Nottingham Forest, before they host a dangerous Brentford outfit six days later back on home soil.
Just a week ago, the prospect of a similar run would have set knees knocking in the Everton camp, however, the reinvigorated Toffees will see point-winning potential in just about all of those games with Sean Dyche at the helm.
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