Match-Winner Walcott Hails Boss After Tactical Shift

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Theo Walcott hinted that Evertonians can expect to see more of him on the left of Everton’s attack after his match-winning switch helped the Blues defeat Newcastle. 

The Toffees winger revealed it was manager Sam Allardyce’s decision to swap him from Everton’s right flank to the opposite side at half-time – a move that paid off handsomely when Walcott lashed home the game’s only goal five minutes after the restart.

The 1-0 success against a Magpies side which went into the clash on a four-match winning run moved the Blues up to eighth in the Premier League table and extended their formidable home form to 27 points from the past 39 available at the Grand Old Lady.

The 29-year-old Walcott was delighted to net his third goal since moving to Goodison Park in January and admitted it was the perfect way to kick off what could be a more regular switch to the left flank.

“To get the goal – a much-needed one – is brilliant for me personally,” he said. “The gaffer felt he wanted to change it at half-time. From the left, it made sense to come inside onto my stronger foot and give a bit more support to Cenk Tosun.

“Playing on the left is something I am thinking about for next season. The gaffer is trying it out a little bit more and I have scored a lot of good goals from the left.

“When you have one man up front, they can be isolated at times, so the fact I have licence to come in off the flank and get involved is great.

“The change definitely worked but we still had to get control of the game and kill it off. There were a few more goals in it for us but I’m glad the guys dug in tonigh and got the result.”

Walcott took his recent record against Newcastle to 10 direct contributions to goals from his past nine matches against the Magpies.

The visitors ended the game on the front foot as they looked for a late reply. With Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka marshalling the Blues backline, Seamus Coleman needed to be alert in the final seconds to nod away a dangerous cross from Kenedy while under pressure from Dwight Gayle.

But, roared on by a vociferous home support, the Toffees would not surrender their clean sheet and held on to claim all three points.

“It's very satisfying,” added Walcott. “We were under a lot of pressure at the end but we held on and did the job.

"I have to say Seamus’ defensive header at the end was just as good as my goal. Everyone did their defensive jobs. Everyone was behind us and it was good to get the three points after some disappointing results.

“The fans were absolutely fantastic tonight – that’s what we want. Newcastle made it a really tough battle but we dug in and got the job done.”

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