Positive Goodison Form Will Make The Difference
Manager Sam Allardyce is looking for Everton to bounce back following the shambles that was Arsenal and he believes some home comforts will help get us back to winning ways this weekend.
Following on from last weekend's heavy five one defeat to Arsenal and the Emirates Stadium, Allardyce pulled few punches in his after game thoughts in terms of how the players applied themselves to his instructions, so after a busy week on the training ground he's demanding improvement and he told the Official Site that he felt our more positive home form would help us achieve just that.
'It is focusing on our own form. We have won three, drawn two and lost one out of six games since I have been here, so our home form is very good and it's our best way of staying in the top half. Our home form has to be continued, starting with Crystal Palace on Saturday, as it was against Leicester. As like Arsenal they go to Swansea and lose, come back and play well and beat us, we want to repeat that against Crystal Palace.'
Having vented after Arsenal, Allardyce had been pleased by the response of the group this week but the real response comes across the next 90 minutes.
'Like you would expect, the lads have accepted that we weren`t able to compete with Arsenal but in reality an Arsenal side as good as that punishes a lot of teams and has punished a lot of teams on their home soil. It is a result we have to respond to in the right way.'
Restating that last week's performance was 'clearly below the levels we expect' he did twist the conversation to Everton's knack of coming from behind in games this season, as we do have the best record in the Premier League at taking 13 points from losing positions, so he knew they could battle and were resilient, so unless they prove otherwise he's happy to take Arsenal as a 'blip'.
'Arsenal is one of those blips we have to get over and get over it quick. We have created more points from going behind than most teams in the Premier League. We don`t always fall foul to a heavy defeat, we can lose a goal and get a result quite well, and as well as any team in the Premier League. We can`t forget that in one isolated incident.'
In terms of the injury situation at the club, Leighton Baines and Maarten Stekelenburg remain out with calf and hernia issues respectively, but he expects both back within the next fortnight.
'The injury situation is the best since I have been here. Stekelenburg is nearly training, Leighton is not on the field but is in the full mode for recovery. He is running and we would expect by the time we play Watford that he will be clear, so the injuries have been pretty good, especially considering how many injuries there were when I arrived - and some were long-term.'