Allardyce Eyes Goodison Factor To Get Blues Going

Sam Allardyce wants Everton to draw on their positive home form under his management in a bid to get back to winning ways against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Since Allardyce became boss at the end of November, the Blues have won three and drawn two of their six home matches, their only loss coming to second-placed Manchester United on New Year's Day.

The last time the Toffees played at the Grand Old Lady, they put in an impressive display to defeat in-form Leicester City 2-1 courtesy of a Theo Walcott double. That fine work was derailed last Saturday after a 5-1 defeat at Arsenal. But with Crystal Palace next up at Goodison Park this weekend, Allardyce has called on his team to take encouragement from their form on home soil and look to cement their position in the top half of the Premier League table.

"It is focusing on our own form," he said. "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.

"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."

In his pre-match press conference, Allardyce reiterated that last weekend's performance was "clearly below the levels we expect". But he pointed to the Blues' ability to come from behind this season - picking up a league-best 13 points from losing positions - as proof that his team can battle through adversity.

"(Arsenal) is one of those blips we have to get over and get over it quick," said Allardyce, who also confirmed that injured duo Leighton Baines (calf) and Maarten Stekelenburg (hernia) are due to return to first-team training in the next fortnight.

"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."

He added: "(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."

Saturday's match against Palace has been dedicated to Everton in the Community as the Club’s official charity celebrates its 30th birthday.

Allardyce recently saw EitC's fine work first-hand when he attended a James Greenop Legacy Kicks’ football session. And he was once again full of praise for what the award-winning charity does across Merseyside.

"I only had a small time with the community and I can't speak highly enough of the community as a whole across every football club because they all do a fantastic job," said the Blues boss.

"I have never seen a club do as much for the community as Everton does. They have the Freedom of the City and rightly so because they do so much for the community and bring comfort to so many people."


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