Allardyce: Victory Provides Platform For Toffees To Grow

by Paul McNamara

Sam Allardyce says Everton’s second convincing victory inside a week provides a platform for the Toffees to “grow and grow and grow”.

Second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin propelled the Blues to a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town and gave Allardyce the perfect start to his “dream job” as Everton boss.

After watching from the stands as the Toffees demolished West Ham United 4-0 on Wednesday, Allardyce has seen his team collect six points in four days – and jump up to 10th place in the Premier League. 

“That has taken the pressure off us all, I am glad to say,” Allardyce told evertontv. 

“It just shows you, at this stage of the season, what back-to-back wins can bring to a team who have been struggling.

“All of a sudden, you get this quick turnaround and it will give the confidence of the players a big boost, and that is very, very important. 

“They should feel good about themselves at the moment. They have had a bit of stick recently, so everybody today appreciated the win, as they did on Wednesday and, hopefully, we can continue in the right frame of mind... and grow and grow and grow, as we have done in the past two games.”

Allardyce was afforded a warm reception from a packed Goodison Park prior to kick-off and insists he wants to give Evertonians plenty to shout about after their team’s difficult start to the campaign.

That he got his reign off on the perfect footing was down to Sigurdsson’s accomplished 47th-minute finish after latching onto an imaginative flick from Calvert-Lewin – and 20-year-old Calvert-Lewin’s strike 17 minutes from time following a precise through ball from Wayne Rooney.

“We changed the tactics at half-time by telling Aaron Lennon and Gylfi to sit in the holes, not to chase their full-backs all the way back on top of our full-backs... that gave them a bit more freedom when we won the ball back, because we could pop it into them and they were further up the pitch when they were receiving the ball," said Allardyce.

"That helped us get the first goal. It was a super bit of talent with the flick and the finish but I think if that situation happened in the first half, Gylfi would have been too far back to actually get in the box. It was a very important goal at that particular time.

“It was a lovely little flick to get Gylfi in on goal and I am so pleased for Dominic that he got his goal after his work on the front line. For a young centre-forward learning his trade in the Premier League, to get that goal for us at that particular time just killed Huddersfield off. 

“I know my responsibility to the football club and the fans and I know they want as attractive football as they can possibly get, but I also know they want to see people who dig in, work hard and roll up their sleeves for the cause. 

“If I take a job I am fully, 100 per cent committed and I do not take jobs in any other circumstances. I have turned down many a job before this one but I felt this one to be right for me.

“It is a dream job for me and I will give it 100 per cent. And getting a win in my first game after the fantastic victory on Wednesday night is great. Let us hope it is onwards and upwards now.”

Allardyce has been joined at Goodison by a new support staff, including assistant Sammy Lee and coach Craig Shakespeare.

The 63-year-old revealed former Leicester City boss Shakespeare viewed the encounter with Huddersfield from on high, in order to gain a broader perspective on proceedings.

And Allardyce, who named an unchanged side for Huddersfield's visit following the victory over West Ham, says the players involved in both games will now be allowed a few days to recuperate.

“I think they deserve a rest now, because of the amount of games they have had,” added Allardyce, who brought on an extra centre-half in Michael Keane after Everton had established a two-goal lead over David Wagner's Terriers.

“The last day off for some of them was way back in early November, so we are going to give some of these lads, who have been out there battling away, a couple of days off to recover and actually reflect on what they have done in the past few days… and come in even stronger and better and raring to go, refreshed physically and mentally and feeling really up for it, because we have just cleared six points and moved out of the danger zone.

“Craig is up there on the wire with me and I think that he can see a better picture than we can. When it comes to tactics and substitutions we can communicate when he is up there. He is in a calmer position than we are on the bench. 

“We are up and down like yo-yos, challenging every decision and so on and so forth, so you can get the calm head up in the stand and just see the picture better.

"We went three at the back at the end because we just wanted to make sure we kept a clean sheet and did not let Huddersfield in when they started taking bigger chances. That worked perfectly, so we are very, very happy.”

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