Sean Dyche will again be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Everton’s crunch Premier League clash against Leeds on Saturday.
The new Toffees boss has very limited options at his disposal up front and the continued absence of Calvert-Lewin, who was forced off with a hamstring issue during Dyche’s first game in charge against Arsenal, is a major blow.
“The root of the problem is pretty easy from the medical side of things and now it’s just time to make sure his body’s well,” said Dyche.
“We’ve got other good players here and I think it’s more important to focus on them at this stage. Facts are facts, Dom’s not available, so, until he is, my focus will be on the players we have got available and the team unit.”
Ellis Simms made only his second Premier League start for Everton in Monday’s 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat by Liverpool.
The 22-year-old is the only real frontman at Dyche’s disposal, with the likes of Neal Maupay and Demarai Gray offering different options.
Dyche tried to put a positive spin on the situation, saying: “I think the mentality has to be you score as a team and you hope not to concede as a team, obviously.
“But the framework of the team is important, so it’s not just about the individual players, it’s about putting players in an area to score goals, whoever that may be.
“The whole team has a responsibility to score, as we did against Arsenal with a good set-piece. Obviously you do want players fit but it’s the mentality of the whole group that’s important.”
The failure to bring in a striker in the January transfer window following the sale of Anthony Gordon to Newcastle was seen by disgruntled Everton fans as another black mark against those running the club.
A lack of goals is a major reason for Everton’s position in the bottom three, with the Toffees having found the net just 16 times in 22 league matches.
Dyche reiterated that the lack of new signings was not for the want of trying and urged patience as he tries to address the imbalances in the squad.
“I came in here with open eyes,” he said. “I know the squad, I know the situation. It’s going to be a big challenge, everyone knows that.
“The Arsenal game’s a reminder of the quality that is here. Of course the striking department has got less options that you would like in the Premier League, and especially for a club of this size and the expectation of its fans.
“The squad needs readjusting because there’s lots of players in certain positions. I’m trying to align a situation that is better going forwards. It does take time, we all know that. Within that time, the main focus at the moment is to fast-track that side into getting the points, winning games.
“Further down the road, of course I’m already talking about what can we do next, exploring many options, being in touch with the right people, getting our scouts working diligently across the board and covering as much of the situation as we can to try not to have this arise again.”