Sam Allardyce has revealed he wants to bring in a sports psychologist to help boost his team’s confidence and belief. The manager believes his players need help with the mental side of the game and is one of the reasons why they made such an inconsistent start to the season.
Everton have had a tendency to collapse when going behind in games - with recent heavy defeats to Southampton and Atalanta a case in point. In fact, a total of six losses this season have been by three or more goals.
A sports psychologist may help to boost the team’s confidence and perhaps give them greater resilience when things go against them. The former England boss has already made his presence felt at USM Finch Farm, bringing in Craig Shakespeare as assistant manager, Sammy Lee as first-team coach and Ryland Morgans as fitness coach.
Now a sports psychologist is next on his list. The Liverpool Echo reports that Allardyce intends to employ someone he has worked with before to fulfil that position.
When asked about the possibility of bringing in a psychologist, the Toffees boss said:
“I haven’t got him yet but I will be. I am doing it all myself at the minute!”
When pressed further on what can be done to help rebuild a player’s confidence, Allardyce added:
“Small targets are set. I had about a five minute chat on Wednesday before the game, David [Unsworth] had done everything else, it was his game but I just had five minutes and talked about a few pointers about how you get better.
“Nothing too elaborate, just to one or two. It was ‘you are here and here's what you have to do to get there.
“In the last couple of days that progresses onto more information and delivering more beliefs and eventually it will not only be us who delivers psychologically in terms of wanting to make the players stronger mentally.
“But I would actually try and find them a sports psychologist to back that up because I think that will be very important. If the brain is clear and positive before the lads go out then they produce a positive performance. If the brain is clouded and doubtful you don’t see the player produce the quality he has got.
“That has obviously been seen on a couple of occasions here with the lack of confidence from the lack of results. You have to turn that round as quick as you can and build that confidence and let it grow. Hopefully we can do that as quick as we can.”
Allardyce was speaking after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield made it successive wins for the first time since March.
Those six points lift Everton up to 10th in the table and eases the sense of panic that was beginning to envelop the club.
And the 63-year-old admits that for all the help and support he will provide his team, there’s nothing better for building up confidence than results.
“But there is nothing better than two wins on the trot. After all the work I might do, or a sports psychologist, what really brings the confidence back at the end as much as the work behind is being given the opportunity to go out and play to their strengths and give their all. Play to their best ability and you have got two back to back wins.”