What a difference seven days makes.
The last time Everton played at Goodison Park, they were jeered off by their own supporters after an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat by newly promoted Luton Town.
Fast forward a week and the place was filled with optimism and cheer as Sean Dyche, his players and supporters left the ground with smiles on their faces following a comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
It was the first victory on their own patch this term and all involved with the club go into the international break with smiles on their faces.
“I am very pleased for the players and I am not saying it was a ‘complete’ performance but certainly a very good one,” said Dyche. “A winning performance and the pleasing thing was the calmness of the players to take the game on again.
“Question marks start getting asked when you have so many chances and you don’t score so I was pleased to stay calm and deliver another very good performance and,, of course get the goals to reward the fans for their support.
“It is not just about before the international break, it is about winning. The more you win, the more people smile.”
‘We need to win matches’
Everton are in a state of flux at the moment, awaiting the completion of a takeover of the club by 777 Partners, who agreed a deal to purchase current owner Farhad Moshiri’s 94% stake in the club.
The Miami-based investment firm are on a charm offensive with the Blues faithful, with co-founder Josh Wander writing to the fans before the games.
“We need to be clear,” he said. “There will be no magic wand, nor quick fixes – the path to creating a sustainable business that then translates into on-pitch success is laid with hard work and difficult decisions.
“Today, football clubs are much more complicated businesses than ever before, while remaining vital community assets.
“But there is one eternal truth – we need to win matches.”
And representatives of the firm in attendance for the Bournemouth game got just that, after Wander and co-founder Steven Pasko witnessed a defeat last weekend.
Dyche’s team will hope this result is one they can push on from, with the Merseyside derby against Liverpool waiting for them on the other side of the international break.
‘If you are not winning, people lose faith’
Everton fans have suffered misery at home this season by seeing four consecutive defeats, but swatting aside a dire Cherries side shows signs of putting things right with the rare sight of three goals in a game.
Dyche had asked his side to “change the story” and this was the first time in a year that Everton had scored more than once at home in a league game, with the previous occasion being a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace under previous boss Frank Lampard.
“I am really pleased for the group. The difference when we win is that the noise changes. They were very good against Luton but I have to see through some of the noise and remind the player of good performances,” Dyche said.
“Good performances mean nothing unless you win, carry on performing well all season but if you are not winning people lose faith in you.
“That just rubberstamps another good performance with by getting the win and another dominant performance. It is equally fair to speak about xG when you win, 25 efforts today, xG of 3+ and is the highest it has been in about eight years.
“The signs have been there but you have to capitalise on it. You can’t just keep waiting for it to happen and today we didn’t wait. We stepped up and made it happen and that has to be the mindset to continue.
“That is not easy but that is what we want to grow and keep growing.”