Dyche hails 'biggest' feat as Everton seal survival

Everton manager Sean Dyche applauds the crowd at Goodison Park

Sean Dyche says leading Everton to Premier League survival with three games to spare is his "biggest" achievement as a manager.

Everton beat Brentford 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday to leapfrog them into 15th place - and the Toffees are now 11 points clear of the bottom three.

Their top-flight status has been secured despite the club having had a total of eight points deducted this season for breaching Premier League financial rules.

Dyche said: "We have not been given an easy ride and I am super proud. The knocks keep coming for me as well - this job is not the way it has been pitched to me or what has happened.

"To refocus on the new job in hand, I have been pleased with that and how we handled it."

Idrissa Gueye scored the winner for Everton and after the full-time whistle Dyche strode on to the pitch and applauded all four corners of the stadium.

Everton beat Brentford to guarantee survival

The Blues were crushed 6-0 at Chelsea on 15 April but have bounced back in perfect fashion with three consecutive victories - all with clean sheets - including a 2-0 triumph over Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

Despite staying up, Everton's future off the pitch remains in question as a protracted takeover by Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners has still not been completed.

Dyche said: "The mentality of the players has grown - it is fair to say if we kept the consistent behaviours it will pay you back and it has done.

"We have not been as fluid as earlier in the season but have found wins and deserved them."

Dyche was previously manager of Burnley for almost 10 years - guiding the club up to the Premier League twice - before being sacked in April 2022.

The 52-year-old led Everton to safety on the final day of last season and was asked where keeping them up again ranks in terms of his career achievements.

Dyche replied: “It certainly is my biggest one, to lead a group [from] where it was [to] where it is.

"It was different last season, but this season has been incredibly tough to see through the feeling and noise at times.

"I took a few hits myself but that is part of my job, to stay focused on the job in hand.

"Everton has become an easy story, the whipping boys of the Premier League. 'What’s easy? Everton. Let’s get on them.' Now we are beginning to change it.

"Let someone else have the negativity and story."