Sean Dyche says Everton did their best to sign new players
Sean Dyche says Everton did try to recruit players in January, but the quality of the signings "had to be better" than those players already at the club.
The Toffees sold forward Anthony Gordon to Newcastle in a £45m deal but did not sign any new players before the transfer window shut, much to the frustration of the club's supporters.
Dyche, 51, joined Everton on a two-and-a-half-year contract until 2025, on Monday.
He stressed: "All I have seen is hard work, particularly in the recruitment area.
"We worked very, very hard [to bring new players in]. I can assure you the club worked hard because I was here, I was watching it, I was involved in it."
Everton are 19th in the Premier League table and face league leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday, before taking on Liverpool in the Merseyside derby a week later.
"I was ringing agents," added Dyche. "We were doing all of the diligence, crunching all of the numbers, analytics, doing all that we could do to define the players that could help."
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Everton were heavily criticised for not strengthening their squad in the transfer window last month, especially with the club locked in a worrying relegation battle.
However, Dyche, who replaced Frank Lampard and had been out of work since being dismissed by Burnley last April, said there was no reason for Everton to panic buy.
"I've been leaving here late at night, Kevin Thelwell [director of football] has been constantly on the phone; the owner and the chairman on the phone, constantly," said Dyche.
"I can assure you and I was there - physically there - seeing it all. There has absolutely been hard work.
"A couple of things about the playing options is, first of all, you have got to align them. I've said that many, many years, in my Premier League experiences.
"All parties have to say 'yes', we know that, you've got to get to that situation. You need the finances in place to make those situations happen, we all know that.
"But likewise, I think something that not often gets overviewed is that they have got to be better than what we have got here.
"I think we have got some very, very good players here, some very talented players. They have lost their way, we can all have debates on why.
"But I've never been one for signing players for the sake of signing them."
Dyche is understandably hungry to deliver in his first match in charge, especially given Everton's last home victory was a 3-0 home win against Crystal Palace in October.
"I'm excited," added Dyche. "Evertonians look after their club and we will need that. Before the ball rolls, we've been working hard on the training ground.
"We want the fans to play their part, to reconnect. I've got to earn my spurs. I'm willing to earn their respect."
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