New Everton manager Sean Dyche declared his side’s battling 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal was just the start as he made his debut in the Goodison Park dugout on Saturday.
The former Burnley manager Everton’s side subjected Arsenal to its second league defeat of the season after a second-half goal from James Tarkowski, who headed home a corner from Dwight McNeil, two players, who were part of Dyche’s team at Burnley.
“It’s a starting point,” Dyche told a news conference. “The next performance is not guaranteed and the next result is not guaranteed.
“It’s a start, it’s a way that they’ve taken ownership and pride in what we’ve tried to do this week and I’m happy with that. The next thing will be how we can take that forwards.”
Dyche believes that his players cannot take anything for granted after their shock victory and must continue to work hard as they continue their quest to secure top-flight safety.
Everton, who now have 18 points from 21 games, next visit Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Feb. 13.
“We’ve got very good players here and I want to give them that freedom to play but the game has a certain way: you have to do the basics and it’s about putting in the hard yards,” added Dyche.
“We have to run harder, we have to work harder, we have to tackle, we have to fight and on top of that the tactical layers, the technical layers and on top of that the freedom.”
There were protests before the match aimed at the club’s ownership with thousands of fans gathering on the terraced streets outside the ground chanting and holding banners.
Supporters called for the club’s board to be sacked with Everton fighting relegation for a second successive season.
A plane flew over the stadium during the match with a banner reading “League’s worst run club. #TimeToGoBill”, referring to Bill Kenwright, who has been Everton’s chairman since 2004.
Arsenal’s defeat saw them miss the chance to go eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, with the top two having played 20 games.
Manager Mikel Arteta said his side has to recover when they welcome fellow high-flying London side Brentford next Saturday as they search for their first league title since 2004.
“This journey is going to be difficult, challenging, there’s going to be bigger stones in the mill we have to overcome,” said the disappointed Spaniard.
“The best way to (recover) is to understand who we are, why we’ve got where we are and start to do all the basic things right and start to play the way we want to play, do better individually and collectively, and then you’ll earn the right to win games,” he said.