Sean Dyche applauded Everton’s ‘outstanding work ethic’ and pointed to a wholehearted display in the 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion as further proof of the growing mentality throughout his squad.

The Blues faced the high-flying Seagulls at Goodison Park and were six minutes away from recording their sixth win in eight games—as well as their third clean sheet in six days—until Ashley Young’s extremely unfortunate own goal in the closing minutes forced them to settle for a point.

The positives far outweighed the negatives, however, with Dyche’s men producing a performance full of commitment and defensive steel after Vitalli Mykolenko’s rebounded shot had given them a seventh-minute lead.

Having stopped West Ham from scoring at home for the first time in a year in a 1-0 triumph at London Stadium last weekend, Everton went so close to shutting out Brighton away from home for the first time in 19 matches.

Despite the late disappointment, Dyche was encouraged by the direction his squad are heading in and praised their attitude and flexibility.

“In the style of the game that Brighton play, we kept them down to a minimum,” said the Blues boss. “Our boys had great form and comprehension, and they had an amazing work ethic.

The team’s willingness to work hard and its overall mindset are constantly improving, but playing three games in six days is a shift.

“After a significant deviation from their effort, we are very disappointed not to take all three points against a respectable Brighton team.

“The mentality pleases me most. We are finding different ways to affect games now and the players are believing in it.

“We know we can play. We were very easy to watch as we defeated Bournemouth at home. It was a different style of game today.

Without a doubt, we demonstrated our strong tactical abilities and willingness to put in the necessary work.

I’m very pleased with the flexibility the side is showing and the mentality to stay steadfast when you’re defending.

“We did not find as many moments on the counter as we could have because we were in some excellent positions, but the work ethic was exceptional, so I will not question that too much.”

The point kept Everton 15th in the Premier League table but three points behind West Ham in 11th, ahead of a trip to Crystal Palace next Saturday.

“Even after their goal, we looked like we were going to nick one again at the end,” added Dyche.

A push on James Tarkowski on the edge of the box was one of the referee’s really tough calls, but the biggest one, in my opinion, was when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was turned around in the box by the final man. I don’t know how that’s not a foul.

If that goes for you, you might get a penalty.

“There was lots of good, though. The mentality side of the team is growing. They are a good group. They’ve been working hard since I got here.

Even though Everton has seen ups and downs, this group has persevered. There is a growing mentality, along with a dedication to the cause and mutual belief.

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