Big Sam has high hopes for Toffees

He is not content with being top-7 finishers again but is targeting first trophy since 1995

LONDON • Sam Allardyce may be the perfect man for a relegation scrap but the new Everton manager revealed that he has much loftier ambitions at his latest club.

His task will be to restore stability and return the Toffees to being the regular top-seven finishers they were under David Moyes from 2004 to 2013, Roberto Martinez in 2014 and predecessor Ronald Koeman last season.

Yet Allardyce also vowed to compete for silverware.

Speaking at his first press conference since he was named Toffees boss on Thursday, he promised to try and help the club win their first major trophy since the 1995 FA Cup.

"This time I want it to be much more than that (stability)," he said ahead of taking charge of the Merseysiders for the first time when they welcome Huddersfield to Goodison Park for a Premier League clash today.

"I want to see the club grow and live along with the ambition they have. They finished seventh last year and it's my job to steer them back in the right direction, get them towards the European places, FA Cup final and Carabao (League) Cup final."

The 63-year-old will bring experience of managing a record six Premier League clubs - Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland and Crystal Palace - during which he developed a reputation of building direct, defensively solid and hard-to-beat teams.

Everton have kept just two clean sheets in the league so far this season. Allardyce inked an 18-month contract but revealed that he is hoping to stay at Goodison Park for longer to "see through the club's ambition".

"Contracts don't mean a lot nowadays," said the former England manager, who left his dream job by mutual consent last year after two months following allegations he offered advice on how to bypass rules on player transfers.

"If you do well, the contract gets extended and, if you don't, you get sacked. The average life of a Premier League manager is 14 months."

Allardyce, who has never experienced relegation from the top-flight, was in the stands to witness Everton's 4-0 midweek league victory over West Ham that lifted the Toffees to 13th in the table.

"That level of performance on Wednesday is the minimum I expect tomorrow," he said.

Newly promoted Huddersfield have lost four of their last five league games, and conceded 11 goals in their past three defeats.

Manager David Wagner, however, is refusing to panic.

"I don't think there's been any big surprises so far but every single opponent in the Premier League is harder than 22 of the opponents we met in the Championship last season."

REUTERS


EVERTON V HUDDERSFIELD

Singtel TV Ch105 & StarHub Ch230, 10.50pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'Big Sam has high hopes for Toffees'. Print Edition | Subscribe