Everton winger Dwight McNeil has revealed that he has struggled for confidence throughout his debut season at Goodison Park, but insists that he has the opportunity for a “fresh start” courtesy of a reunion with manager Sean Dyche.
Few would argue with McNeil’s honest assessment of his Everton career to date, but the 23-year-old put in a superb display in the 1-0 over Arsenal on Saturday, providing an assist for James Tarkowski’s second half winner as the former Burnley stars combined in front of the Gwladys Street.
Indeed, McNeil was one of the standout performers in what was a fantastic team display, and the Rochdale-born winger insists that he can build on a confidence-boosting individual and collective effort.
The Everton attacker stated, “I knew so far this season I hadn’t been at my best and low on confidence, but with the new manager coming and still half a season to go, I saw it as a fresh start.
“[It is about] getting back to basics and building from there – my confidence came from there. It was a good team performance as well.
“I definitely want to build on this now, especially having played like that against a team as good as Arsenal.
Now we need to focus on the big game that’s coming up with the derby. We have to be ready as a team.”
McNeil arrived at Goodison Park with high expectations, seen as he was as the replacement for the Spurs-bound Richarlison.
However, despite a pre-season brace against Dynamo Kyiv, the ex-Burnley star has struggled to adapt to life on Merseyside.
Having previously played his best football under Sean Dyche during their time at Turf Moor, hopefully the Everton boss can assist McNeil in rediscovering the form that prompted the Blues to pay a reported £20 million fee last summer.