Sean Dyche has warned Everton he will not trust to luck as he attempts to guide the club to Premier League safety.
The Toffees will head into Saturday’s home clash with Fulham clear of the relegation zone only by virtue of goal difference and knowing they have a major fight on their hands to preserve their top-flight status with just eight games remaining.
However, while there are likely to be twists and turns as the clubs at the foot of the table scrap for their lives, Dyche is adamant he wants his team to seal their own fate rather than relying on the failings of their rivals.
He said: “We’re trying to build something here that can be down to us, what we’re doing, what we’re playing like, what we’re achieving. That’s the main focus.
“Woany (assistant manager Ian Woan) has a good saying: ‘There has to be a future in it’. As much as you will take a lucky one and you’ll take one when it’s not your day, but you still win or you get a point and all that – of course you take those over a season, they’re still important.
“But you want to see a performance, you want to see a team that is performing in the right manner with the right things to go and win games, and that’s certainly a more important factor rather than just hoping for the best with other teams’ results.”
Dyche will once again be without suspended midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure this weekend, while skipper Seamus Coleman will also be missing as he nurses a hamstring problem.
However, he was tight-lipped about the prospect of England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin returning from his own hamstring injury as he conducted his pre-match press conference.
Fulham will arrive on Merseyside with striker Aleksandar Mitrovic banned and boss Marco Silva confined to the stands after his own brush with the authorities, and on the back of five successive defeats, four of them in the league.
Dyche, of course, is no stranger to a Premier League relegation battle after his time at former club Burnley, and he is hoping that experience will stand him and his current club in good stead over what remains of the campaign.
He said: “You don’t have to look too far beyond my time at Burnley to realise it ended well, but there were periods in the season when it was tough. That’s just the reality of the Premier League.
“It can happen to more or less – not literally – everyone, it seems. I doubt Manchester City will find themselves in that situation currently, but it’s happened to most teams.
“You fall down there for a spell, you have to find your way and navigate your way through it. There’s not an exact way of doing it, but I think I know some ways that are very important to us.”