EVERTON manager Sean Dyche insists he cannot afford to buy into the widely held assumption that his team will survive this season because there are three worse sides in the Premier League.

A 10-point deduction for breaching financial regulations has left the Toffees 18th, sandwiched between newly promoted sides Luton, two points ahead, and Burnley and Sheffield United below.

The outcome of an appeal against that sanction could improve Everton’s fortunes but their form this season has left most observers with the view they will not be threatened by relegation for a third successive campaign.

However, Dyche has urged his players to earn their Premier League status, as Everton prepare to host Newcastle tonight.

“It’s not as easy as that. I think that people are referring to the fact the teams who have come up, everyone thinks are likely to have a tough season,” he said.

“I don’t look at it and say ‘Ah well, we are OK because these teams are deemed by everyone else to be struggling’. I don’t see it like that.

“They are three teams who have earned the right to be in the Premier League so we have to earn the right to be above those three teams as a minimum.

“The 10 points has changed the situation quite obviously, the idea of an appeal and whether we get some of those points back is in no-man’s land, so it’s back to us to figure out ways of winning games.

“I think that challenge is never-ending in the Premier League, I don’t think it is just because of 10 points (being deducted).

“I’m a great believer in realities: positive realities – I believe in the positivity of what we can do and achieving things.

“There has been no excuse from me about it. This is the reality, this is the challenge. Let’s crack on.”


Everton’s woeful home record this season – one win and just four points from seven matches – will be tested to the full again by the visit of the Magpies.

They will be boosted by the likely return of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who missed Saturday’s win at Nottingham Forest with a minor issue, while a late decision will be made on Amadou Onana, absent for two matches with a calf injury.

A lack of goals has been the main issue with just five scored at Goodison Park, in contrast to double that number on the road which has helped bring four wins and a draw.

Asked about the difference between home and away results, Dyche added: “I think putting it in the net – the amount and quality of chances… we have made at home has led to good performances – but you have to score a goal.”