(Reuters) - While Everton manager Sean Dyche acknowledged there is plenty of buzz around Saturday's Merseyside derby against Liverpool, he said the Toffees will try to tune out the noise in their quest for a rare victory at Anfield.
"It's a tough place to go," Dyche told reporters on Thursday. "So, I don't think we'll be listening to the kind of the noise around it. We're trying not to anyway.
"But there is a lot of noise, rightly so, big game. It's more about our focus to get through that and concentrate on our performances ... the whistle blows, you're focusing on the teams, but the build-up, the feel around it, there's no two ways, it's a proper derby. I've played in a few and I've been around a few, but it's certainly the biggest one I know."
Everton, who have beaten Liverpool just once in the last 28 Merseyside derbies in all competitions, sit 16th in the Premier League on seven points from eight games.
Juergen Klopp's Liverpool are fourth with 17 points, three shy of league leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in second.
Dyche will get a boost with the return of Idrissa Gueye, who played for Senegal in a friendly against Cameroon on Monday, and is back fit after a heel injury kept him out of their win over Bournemouth in their last outing. Captain Seamus Coleman returned to training but Dyche said he "needs time."
Dyche was asked about Wednesday's New York Times report that Everton's sale to 777 Partners had stalled as the U.S. investment fund was yet to provide audited financial statements to a British regulator.
"I've stepped into the middle of it. It's certainly not something that involves me as manager, but it distantly does from the fact that I am manager," he said. "I will wait and see on what the outcome is and what the timelines are. At the minute I don't know any more than that."
The manager hopes his squad can maintain their momentum after two wins in their last three league games, including a 3-0 win over Bournemouth before the international break.
"We were in decent spirits anyway but it reaffirms to the players and the staff that when you get it right and take your chances, and find real cutting edge in your performance, then I have always said that I think we are a decent outfit," he said of that win.
Liverpool however - unbeaten in 18 of their last 19 league games - will be far from an easy opponent.
"Their record is very strong, they are a very good outfit - we know that. Our record needs changing - we know that," Dyche said. "It's been a long time with not many wins but it is a tough place to go."