Dwight McNeil turns Everton jeers to cheers with winger’s strike against Brentford the latest step in his impressive turnaround
- Dwight McNeil is now being praised by Everton fans after impressive displays
- Sean Dyche said that McNeil is being rewarded for working hard at his game
- Dyche’s decision to bring Michael Keane back into the team has also worked well
Goodison Park can be an unforgiving place for those struggling in blue but Dwight McNeil proves Evertonians are also prepared to give players a second chance.
McNeil was greeted with groans when the team struggled earlier in the season under Frank Lampard but has looked revived under his former Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
There was a positive buzz around the stadium on Saturday when he got on the ball and his first-minute strike turned out the winner against Brentford.
‘Credit to the fans. They can get stuck (negatively) on a player but they haven’t here,’ said Dyche, whose side climbed out of the relegation zone after his third 1-0 win at home.
‘They have gone, “Let’s see what he can do”. That’s fair play because sometimes they can get something stuck in their head and can’t let it go.
Dwight McNeil’s early goal against Brentford continued his impressive turnaround at Everton
Everton boss Sean Dyche said McNeil is being rewarded for working hard at his game
‘Dwight has worked at his game, put in the hard yards and that pays you back with supporters, especially at Everton.
‘It was a big move for him and some players can be affected by the team not doing well and the noise around it. Now they are fully supportive of him.’
McNeil fired home Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pass after 35 seconds to end Brentford’s 12-game unbeaten run. It was only his third Everton goal since a £15million summer move from Burnley but Dyche is not giving him a target.
‘I don’t look at it like a player is measured by goals but the game often does and the noise around the game,’ added the Everton boss.
Michael Keane (left) has impressed since replacing Conor Coady in central defence for Everton
‘I think he’s got talent, we know that, I’ve worked with him since he was a youngster.’
So far, Dyche’s changes have largely paid off. Michael Keane, another player Dyche knows from Turf Moor, has looked good since replacing Conor Coady in central defence.
‘People maybe questioned me about putting him back in. These are decisions you have to make as a manager and I can assure you they’re not always easy,’ said Dyche.
‘I really thought that relentlessness to keep working and doing the ugly stuff was on show in the second half even when we weren’t play well.’
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