One Man Can Make The Difference For Allardyce
Everton manager Sam Allardyce has said he's relishing the chance to call upon winger Yannick Bolasie on a 'consistent basis' when his fitness and confidence grows.
With a number of key players missing during his time at Goodison Park, the former England man has been able to welcome back Bolasie to training and following his return to fitness in late December, the DR Congo international now has ten appearances to his name following his 12 month lay off but Allardyce remains careful in overburdening his match time for the risk of a break down.
With Bolasie's own performance against Brighton seeing six crosses and four shots, Allardyce is confident he's too far away from a full return and he expects him to make a massive difference for the side in the 2017/18 run in as he gets closer to his peak.
Speaking to the Official Site Allardyce explained.
'He was fantastic with and without ball. He improved the more it went on - the longer the game went on and the more we got the ball to him. And perhaps the game opened up a bit more after the opening goal. What I liked, is that when he produced the final ball that caused the first goal, his game got even better from then on.'
Allardyce went on to say.
'He got more confidence straightaway. He started running at them more, causing them more and more problems. It will be nice to see the old Yannick back on a consistent basis because I think he gives us good balance down the left-hand side. Theo Walcott down one side and Yannick down the other gives the team a real good balance. And, of course, the only left footer we have in the camp, Leighton Baines is back.'
Reflecting on the Brighton victory itself more, Allardyce went on to praise the impact and performances of January arrivals Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott.
'Patience with Cenk was important and it has been a difficult one for him to take. But it is my job to wait and get the lad to go and perform and be cheered and appreciated because he is producing the ability he showed in Turkey. That was not the case when he came. We put him in straightaway against West Brom but he needed a bit of time.'
With the side heading out to Dubai for a short trip, the gaffer felt that had certainly helped Tosun settle in more and find his feet and with two in two we're now seeing the benefit of that.
'I also think the Dubai trip was massive for him, as it was for some of the others, in getting to know the players he is playing with and getting to know what it is like playing in the Premier League. His goal came from a nice little lay-off from Baines and was a beautiful finish. Hopefully, he will continue where he left off today, and where he left off last week, and that is to score more goals when he plays.'
He ended by saying.
'Yannick`s match fitness is not right up there but he is looking like his old self. All the players deserve huge credit, they put on a really good performance. And the contributions from Cenk and Theo are making us better.'