Manchester: Everton have turned to Sean Dyche as the club bids to fight to secure Premier League survival.
The former Burnley manager was hired by Everton as the successor to Frank Lampard on Monday and has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Dyche’s immediate priority is to avoid relegation after taking over a club that is second from the bottom of the standings and in danger of ending its 69-year stay in the top flight of English soccer.
“There is quality in this squad. But we have to make them shine,” Dyche said in the club’s announcement. “That’s the job of me and my staff.”
It is Dyche’s first job since he was fired by Burnley last April. The 51-year-old manager spent just under 10 years at the Lancashire club, leading it to promotion to the Premier League in 2016.
Under Dyche, Burnley qualified for the Europa League in 2018 and remained in the top tier of English soccer until last season.
Dyche’s first game in charge will be against league leader Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“We want to change the shape of this club going forward, remodel it in our style, but in a way that we can win,” he said. “That’s the task in front of us — make sure we’re building, tactically and technically, giving players organization, allow them the freedom to play, to go and enjoy their football because it’s brilliant when the team’s playing with a smile, but we’ve got to win.”
Dyche had been linked repeatedly with the Everton job in the past but looked set to miss out to former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, who was the favorite to succeed Lampard.
However, on Friday it emerged that Bielsa would not take up the position after reportedly rejecting the job.
That left Dyche as the leading candidate to take over the storied club, which has won nine top-flight league titles but has not won a major trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 1995.
Under Lampard, Everton lost 11 of its last 14 games in all competitions this season, winning just one during that run.
Lampard was fired a week ago after the 2-0 loss to fellow struggler West Ham two days earlier.
Everton has endured managerial disruption since majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri took control of the club in 2016.
Dyche is the latest manager to be charged with the responsibility of reversing its fortunes after the appointments of Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Lampard over the past seven years.
With the club set to move into a state-of-the-art new stadium next year, there are fears among fans that Everton could be a second-division team by then.
Dyche represents another shift in strategy by a club that has had two Champions League-winning managers in the last four years, in Ancelotti and Benitez.