Sean Dyche hails character of penalty takers despite shoot-out loss to Fulham

By Sports Desk December 19, 2023

Everton manager Sean Dyche insists he is more concerned with the mentality shown by players in choosing to take a penalty in a shoot-out than he is by the style employed.

The Toffees exited the Carabao Cup on spot-kicks for the fourth time in six years after Amadou Onana’s weak, placed effort to put them through with their fifth and final regulation effort was saved by Fulham’s Bernd Leno.

Idrissa Gana Gueye hit the post in sudden death and Tosin Adarabioyo scored to send the Cottagers into their first League Cup semi-final 7-6 in the shoot-out, after Toffees substitute Beto’s 82nd-minute equaliser had cancelled out Michael Keane’s first-half own goal.

“Everyone has a style of penalty which they think can score. His record has been very strong in all the rounds and when we’ve practised them. That’s his style,” said Dyche of Onana’s disappointing effort.

“If you are brave enough to get up there and take one then you have to be brave enough for the consequences.

“The first question is always who doesn’t want to take one. Simple as that because you need to want to take one. I’m pleased to say the whole group said they would take one.

“It is the moment of truth: the ball’s there, you have to put it in the net.”

Fulham offered little in the way of attacking threat – their only shot on target did not arrive until the 68th minute – but head coach Marco Silva was pleased with the way his side responded to conceding a late equaliser.

“We are all delighted, no doubts about it,” said the former Everton manager, who ended his old club’s four-match winning run.

“It was a huge moment from Bernd when he kept us in the game with the fifth penalty from Onana.

“I am really delighted because it is not easy to keep the composure and quality in the penalty shoot-out.

“We achieved something the club never did in the past. We want more but we are really delighted for this evening and the moment we are living.

“We are going to play the semi-finals with the dream to play at Wembley.”

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