The interesting Sean Dyche chat that helped Ellis Simms make a major impression Everton after surprise January decision
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The recall decision, initially taken by Frank Lampard, has had significant consequences for Sunderland. The Black Cats have struggled for presence in the box after Ross Stewart's season was brought to an end through injury and the club were unable to secure a replacement on deadline day.
They had hoped that Simms could return in the final days of the window, but Everton's similar failure to land a striker of their own meant the 22-year-old stayed at Goodison Park.
And it was a move that has so far yielded limited game time for Simms, with one start against Liverpool and a handful of cameos from the bench.
Sean Dyche has revealed how a midweek chat sparked Simms' big moment at Chelsea, and raised the striker's hopes of increasing his game time between now and the end of the season.
"He’s still got a lot to improve," Dyche said.
"He came up in the week actually and asked me ‘what do you think?’ I said: ‘Well. What do you think?’ He gave me four things and I said ‘you are right’.
"It’s taking action. These players know the things they have got to do, it is just a strange situation and they need guidance, someone to say ‘yeah you are right so therefore take ownership and do it’. I thought [the Chelsea game] was a good sign of that, of the difference in his physicality. He is quick, he is strong and he used it.
"You can’t just wait for people to allow you to use it, you can’t just wait to mature as a player, you have to earn it, you have to go and work at your game.
"We started him at Liverpool, he found it too tough but it was a great learning curve and I said he would learn from it. He’s training with the first team all the time and he has learned from that. I’m not over-egging it with him, it’s letting the environment teach him.
"And then he comes on and gets his reward for working hard and fighting hard. There’s other things he can do better. The physical side of things seemed a challenge for him and I said ‘well that has got to change’. The game tells you what you need from it physically… But it’s great signs for a young player who has got the freedom to come out at Stamford Bridge, join in and create a fine finish and a fine moment for the team and the fans.”
Simms said the goal was a 'dream come true': “I have been working hard to come up with this. It’s a dream come true to score my first Premier League goal. It’s been about patience. I’ve had to wait for my chance.
"Obviously, we have top players, so I am not just going to walk straight into the team. I have to work hard in training and when I get the opportunity, I have to take it with both hands.”