Belfast Telegraph

Sean Dyche remains wary of Everton threat ahead of Burnley's trip to Goodison

Sean Dyche will not underestimate Everton despite the Toffees' current troubles.

A difficult start to the season has seen Ronald Koeman's side pick up only seven points from their first six games in the Premier League, while they have also struggled in the Europa League.

Everton were one of the biggest spenders in the summer, bringing in the likes of Michael Keane from Burnley, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen.

Burnley boss Dyche said ahead of Sunday's clash: " It's tricky for all managers when they're signing new players, and I think they've signed some very good players.

"But you've got to mould it into a team, the players have to learn about each other and inevitably we're all judged on winning, which is hard to come by sometimes.

"I certainly don't take them lightly, though. Bit of a tricky start to the season, and the manager's spoken himself about the feeling amongst his group when they're playing, but we don't take anything for granted."

After conceding a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Europa League minnows Apollon Limassol on Thursday, Koeman described his players as "scared".

"He's seemingly being just honest, which is not always the case," said Dyche.

"He's showing concern for his team. I'm sure he still believes in his team. We've never been fooled by any messages that come out of camps - and I don't think Ronald's trying to do that, to be clear.

"We just came across Crystal Palace the other week and we had to work so hard to get a win against them, they gave a very good performance on the day. And that is the key, on the day. The whistle blows, can you perform.

"He may have things he's not happy with at the moment or he's feeling the players are not happy with but we can only focus on ourselves."

Dyche has no such worries after an impressive start to the season, with the Clarets sitting ninth in the table on nine points.

They have lost only one Premier League match and taken five points from games against Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Burnley will again be without goalkeeper Tom Heaton, winger Nahki Wells and striker Jon Walters, who has seen a specialist for his knee problem.

There is as yet no time-scale for his potential return, with Dyche saying: "It's pretty straightfoward in terms of what it is, it's just allowing it time to calm down."

As Heaton continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder, Nick Pope is set to keep his place in goal.

Dyche recruited former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard as cover last week but the Dane did not make the squad for last weekend's draw with Huddersfield.

The Clarets boss, who also has Adam Legzdins at his disposal, said: " Ideally you want a competitive group of goalkeepers.

"Pope's got the shirt at the moment and done very well. He's been sitting waiting for his chance and that's come around. With Legs and Anders, you want that competitive element.

"When I spoke to Anders I said, 'look, you're not being brought in as just someone to fill a shirt, we want you to actually challenge', and he was clear-minded with that."

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