Daily Mail

McNeil turns Everton jeers to cheers


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 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.

‘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.’

EVERTON (4-3-3): Pickford 6; Coleman 7, Keane 8, Tarkowski 8, Godfrey 6; Onana 5.5 (Davies 80min), Gueye 6.5, Doucoure 6; Iwobi 6.5 (Mykolenko 90), Gray 7 (Maupay 86), McNEIL 8.5.

Scorer: McNeil 1.

Booked: Coleman, Doucoure.

Manager: Sean Dyche 7.

BRENTFORD: Raya 6; Hickey 5.5 (Wissa 74, 6), Pinnock 6, Mee 6, Henry 7 (Ghoddos 86); Norgaard 6 (Onyeka 74, 6), Janelt 6, Jensen 6 (Schade 62, 6); Mbeumo 7, Toney 6.5, Damsgaard 5.5 (Dasilva 62, 6).


Thomas Frank 6.

Simon Hooper 6.

Not provided.

 ?? REX ?? Mutual respect: McNeil salutes fans after his early strike
Booked: Manager: Referee: Attendance:
REX Mutual respect: McNeil salutes fans after his early strike Booked: Manager: Referee: Attendance:
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