Dyche has used own injury experience to advise Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Sean Dyche says he has helped advise Dominic Calvert-Lewin on how to deal with injuries… with Everton manager having been forced to retire early as a player due to fitness issues

  • Sean Dyche was forced to retire early from playing due to a string of injuries 
  • He says coming back too soon is a problem and has given his striker time 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Coming Up!’

Sean Dyche had to retire early as a player due to a string of injuries, one of which included him rushing back to start games when he was far from fully fit – and the Everton boss says he has used his lessons from that episode to advise Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The striker started just 30 of 76 Premier League matches across the last two full seasons due to long-standing injury issues, with Calvert-Lewin admitting he often rushed back to play at just 60 per cent fitness as he felt a duty to help his team, who have experienced back-to-back relegation battles.

But the 26-year-old is looking at his sharpest level for years in an Everton side who have won three of their last four games, with Calvert-Lewin netting in three of those. The Yorkshireman is grateful for Dyche’s patience over the summer in allowing him to trust his body at long last.

Asked what he did to help his striker, Dyche said: ‘It was something I learned as a player from my own bad moment at Bristol City, getting booed off. It’s mainly because I had eight months out with a back injury, the manager told me, “I want you to be captain and play” so I agreed.

‘I learnt very quickly that I was miles off it, miles off being fit. It cost me badly. So when I look back at my own career, I thought, “Right, something needs to change with Dom so what can we change?”.

Sean Dyche has been using his own experiences with injuries to advise Dominic Calvert-Lewin

The striker started just 30 of 76 matches across the previous two full seasons and was often rushed back at 60 per cent fitness

Calvert-Lewin is back and scoring for the Toffees and is set to start against Liverpool 

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‘We needed to give him a chance when he is fit, not when he thinks he is fit. The hardest part of being injured is actually saying you’re injured. You’ll always have this inner voice in your head doubting you and going, “No I think you’ll be alright, you’ll be all right”.

‘And when it happens (another injury) you think, “Why did I do that?”. I felt we together needed to get to the point when you don’t have that fear and you go, “Do you know what, I feel fine”. So my goal wasn’t about him playing.

‘I wanted him to come in here in his car, get warmed up, trained, have his lunch and go home. Once we’re there, you will find true fitness. When you’re there, your game will come back to you. I think he’s very close now.’

The injury-stricken star returned to pre-season long before his team-mates, starting in early June with a visit to a health clinic in Germany that often serves their national team players. ‘It was almost like a factory reset,’ he said at the time.

Everton signing an adequate back-up option in £25million Portuguese target man Beto also helped ease the pressure on Calvert-Lewin, who is set to start Saturday’s Merseyside Derby at Anfield against Liverpool, a team they have beaten just once in the last 25 league meetings.


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