Everton won 1-0 away at Newcastle on the back of another strong defensive showing, and despite riding their luck at times with the woodwork chipping in twice, manager Sam Allardyce wasn’t going to be denied the credit for the victory.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Big Sam was thrilled with the Blues first Premier League away win of the season -
“It shocked me, it was January that we last won away from home so it pleases me even more that we've achieved an away win and another defensive performance that kept Newcastle pretty quiet.”
A mark of Allardyce’s tenure so far has been the reliance on veteran Wayne Rooney, who came up big again with the only goal of the game.
“Our movement and passing going forward, on occasions, was very good, on occasions not so good but a terrific move for the goal and an experienced player showing his experience by anticipating that the goalkeeper might fumble or drop this header and took the chance by going in there and he scored.
“So we win 1-0 and we move onwards and upwards. I've come to football clubs who were in trouble before but have never turned such a disappointing set of results around so quickly so it's one goal conceded, three wins and a draw. I'm pretty pleased, it can't get any better than that for me.”
He maintained that the changes he has effected so far are nothing more than a return to the basics of football.
“I think that you have to have a big personality and walk into a football club, look at the players and say: 'Listen lads, this is what you need to do. This is how you need to get out of the position you are in.'
"It's not rocket science, it's simplifying things and making it easier for you to make decisions that will help you win back your confidence and help put results on the field and take us forward.”
Whatever combination of snake oil and deadly charm he’s using to coax three clean sheets out of a backline of Cuco Martina - Ashley Williams - Mason Holgate - Jonjoe Kenny needs to be bottled up and stored away in a vault at Finch Farm for generations to come.