Allardyce scoffs at his critics

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their second goal in the 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday. It was Sam Allardyce's first match in charge of the Toffees.
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their second goal in the 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday. It was Sam Allardyce's first match in charge of the Toffees.PHOTO: REUTERS

Koeman's successor marks first match with a win, pledges to promote attacking play

LONDON • The Sam Allardyce effect that Premier League clubs invariably covet in their hour of need was instantly in evidence at Everton on Saturday - and "Big Sam" was in a bullish mood after celebrating a successful start to his latest salvage operation.

Second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin earned the Toffees a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

And Allardyce - the first man to manage seven Premier League clubs - has now won five of his first top-flight matches in charge of Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton.

"It took me six games at my previous job at Crystal Palace to get my first win and everybody was telling everybody else I'd come back too soon, that I wasn't the man I used to be," said the 63-year-old with a smile.

"If I take a job, I'm totally committed and I don't take the job in any other circumstances.

"I turned many a job down before this one. I felt this one was right for me. It's a dream job for me and I'll give it 100 per cent."

No wonder he could afford to feel so upbeat after a week which had started amid talk of another potential relegation battle but had ended with Everton moving into the top half of the table into 10th place after Saturday's win.

Allardyce, never shy in trumpeting his own qualities, was quick to take some credit for the victory, after Everton had been very poor for 45 minutes.

"I had some work to do tactically at half-time, mainly on Sigurdsson and (Aaron) Lennon not running too far back. I have to say, it got us the first goal," he said.

"Sigurdsson was further up the pitch than he would have been. It was something we really needed."

The hosts also appeared more solid at the back, although they were up against a side who are still searching for their first away goal since the opening day of the season.

Back in management for the first time since May when he left Palace, having taken them from the relegation zone to 14th, Allardyce was left convinced by this opening success that he has inherited a squad with the right attitude for a scrap.

"Getting a win in your first game after a fantastic win on Wednesday night (the 4-0 win over West Ham) and back-to-back league wins for the first time this season, let's hope it's onwards and upwards, boys," he said.

"I've learnt the squad can dig in and be resilient already.

"They know they let too many goals in before I got here and that has to stop. We can build on the attacking play more once we have established that solid defensive unit."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'Allardyce scoffs at his critics'. Print Edition | Subscribe