Boss admits players are affected by points saga as Everton play Brighton today

Sean Dyche and his team are in their final preparations for their match this afternoon at the Amex Stadium against the Seagulls.

Manchester City v Everton FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Everton FC - Premier League / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

And the Everton manager has admitted that the seemingly endless points deduction saga is perhaps beginning to have an impact on his players.

Dyche has stated he believes the continuing uncertainty about the outcome of the club's appeal against November's ten point penalty, is affecting the side psychologically.

Several players have referrenced the situation in their comments after the recent match with Crystal Palace when both James Tarkowksi and James Garner mentioned it.

It is not surprising if this is the case as the unpreccedented degree of uncertainty and constant media noise surrounding the Toffees would be enough to affect anyone associated with the club, no matter how hard they might try to shut it all out.

Not only are Everton waiting for their appeal against the points deduction to be decided upon, but the Blues still haven't got any idea when or whether prospective new owners 777 Partners will get the green light for their proposed takeover.

I don't think any club in the Premier League era has had a campaign like this one or has had to deal with so much off-the-pitch controversy and instability.

In the immediate aftermath of the announcement in November, the manager and his players seemed to be doing well to keep their focus purely on football itself and not let these distractions influence their form.

Everton put together an excellent run of four consecutive wins in early December which pulled them out of the relegation zone to which they had been consigned straight after the decision.

However, since beating Burnley at Turf Moor on the 16th December, the Blues have failed to win a single Premier League match.

So, if indeed it is having an affect on the players' morale that's yet another issue that Dyche has to sort out and correct.

He certainly has plenty on his plate with a chronic lack of goals hindering his side's ability to win games and injuries impacting on his paper thin squad.

It doesn't bode well for the rest of the season as Everton face another hugely difficult battle against potential relegation. Dyche has to find a way out of this situation, hopefully starting with Brighton today.