Sean Dyche fired a warning to Everton’s relegation rivals and vowed his side are alive and kicking ahead of ‘Survival Sunday’.
The Toffees’ last-gasp 1-1 draw at Wolves on Saturday saw them grab what could be a priceless point, with Yerry Mina equalising seconds from the end of nine minute of stoppage time.
Leeds’ 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Sunday left the Toffees two points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three, although if Leicester beat Newcastle on Monday the Foxes will go above Everton on goal difference.
Everton host Bournemouth in Sunday’s finale but boss Dyche believes their battling point at Molineux proves his side are up for the final fight.
“It sends another message that we’re alive and ready, we’re taking it on,” he said.
“We’ve had a few question marks over ourselves and things that have got away from us, but there’s been a lot of good.
“I’ve reminded the players, there are a lot of good players. They are seeing through the challenges, which I’ve spoken to them at length about.
“See through the noise, forget about that. Look at what’s around us, look at the players we’ve got. I was pleased with them on Saturday, not just for the bigger situation.
“A point doesn’t sound a lot – maybe at this stage it is – but also their performance, the will and demand.
“It’s not always about tactics. It can be, but it’s about the will and demand of a group. That was on show to get something out of a game which looked like it was going away from us.
“The consistency of my message to the players has been very similar. Generally there have been tactical and personnel tweaks but the underlying message has been very consistent. The mentality has got stronger and stronger, particularly away from home.
“I think there’s been an obvious shift, but it means nothing unless we take care of ourselves next week.”
Everton went into stoppage time trailing to Hwang Hee-Chan’s first-half opener, but Mina scored with six seconds left of the initial nine added.
It still means their fate is out of their hands until Leicester finish against Newcastle on Monday and Dyche knows it will be difficult to keep his players away from the distractions this week.
He added: “It’s not very easy nowadays because there’s media everywhere. Everyone’s a journo now, it’s not just you guys (the press).
“Everyone with their phone, everyone who wanders around the Trafford Centre. Everyone has an opinion on something, but it’s part of being a modern footballer, manager or coach. It’s the way it is, you adapt. We all know it’s there.”