Allardyce Calls For Everton Improvement
Everton manager Sam Allardyce has challenged the players to improve their away form starting with this weekend's trip to Watford.
Following a break in the fixture calendar and the players heading out for a warm weather training camp, we are now gearing up for the weekend's trip to Vicarage Road and Allardyce is demanding an uplift in away results given our far better home form.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media earlier today, Allardyce explained.
'If we can improve our away results and continue our home results we can look up rather than down. There has been an improvement since I`ve been here, but for me it`s still not good enough. And we want to improve on that. We`ve taken the Club into a position where who knows where we can finish? Rather that fighting against relegation which was what it was looking like just before I came in.'
In terms of team news ahead of the game, Allardyce said that Seamus Coleman was a doubt and Ramiro Funes Mori was likely to miss out as well, but the Argentine is pencilled in for an Under 23 run out following his long term knee injury.
Leighton Baines is now in training regularly and could be set for a return following his long term calf injury as well.
There was of course praise for our youngsters once again.
'We`re playing more young players than anybody else. I think that`s the best assessment I can give. A lot of that came around by the injuries to the more senior players, which gave these opportunities for the younger players - and the younger players have grasped those opportunities. They`re playing a lot of minutes in the Premier League which will stand them in good stead for the future. It`s very difficult to establish yourself at 21 and under and those lads have been doing a fantastic job for themselves and their careers - and for Everton Football Club. But they've got to continue to get better.'
Theo Walcott also came in for praise with Allardyce saying he gives us a different dimension in attack given his qualities.
'I would say, yes. He has accepted the move brilliantly, he has looked to get this opportunity to play regular first-team football. No manager can promise a player regular first-team football, really, no matter how much you spend on them, because it all depends on their performances. But I think all the Everton fans have seen the change in dynamic he can bring to a side: his dribbling, his quality of crossing, his assists and his goal-scoring ability. Long may that continue and flourish, because that will continue to help us achieve good results and determine where we finish in the league at the end of the season.'
There was also praise for Gylfi Sigurdsson's improvement of late.
'Gylfi`s record is proven. He has continued to show what he showed at other football clubs and improved on that. He is at a prime age now, so there is still room for improvement for Gylfi, a chance for him to achieve even more and get even better as an individual and player. We look forward to him striving for that.'
'A manager does not say, 'Stay back`. A manager says to his attacking players, 'If you get the right ball, in the right areas, and the players behind you play the right ball and you make the right runs, you can get up the pitch. When you get up the pitch, because you are dominating possession, you then have to try to penetrate. We had better possession...and used possession much better than Crystal Palace, which got Gylfi - and Theo and Oumar - in much better and more attacking positions. That is probably the reason why we won 3-1. But, also, apart from the penalty we conceded, defensively, out of possession, we were very good.'