After a 2-0 loss at home to start off 2018 on a very wrong note, Everton manager Sam Allardyce started off speaking about the club’s search for a top class striker, which seems to have been focused on Turkish forward Cenk Tosun over the last few days.
“Obviously, we need a bigger goalscoring threat than we’ve got at the moment and that may help us in many ways to achieve more results and certainly will if whoever we get scores goals.
“We need to strengthen our frontline - I think we all know that. We’re trying to do the hardest job of all by securing a player in that position. It wasn’t achieved before the season and it may not be achieved this January, but we’re trying.”
He added that he was frustrated by the number of errors made by his side.
“Until that happens, we have got to maintain our defensive solidity and I was very disappointed how we conceded the two goals by really giving them the opportunity to score when we didn’t need to. Both goals were down to our errors, really, rather than Manchester United’s great play.
“When they picked up the ball just outside their half after we’ve given it away, they went from one end of the pitch to the edge of our 18-yard box with five or six of our players behind the ball - but not any of those players decided to go and challenge the ball and shut the opposition down. Ultimately, in the end, we end up with five of our players six yards inside our own box where they shouldn’t be and by the time someone decided to shut Martial down, he’s put it in the back of the net. That was very avoidable in the first place, from basic defending.”
The manager made a controversial substitution in the second half, pulling off an ineffective Wayne Rooney playing against his former club, and bringing on James McCarthy with the Blues seeking goals.
“We recovered from going a goal down. James McCarthy, for me, was the shining light of the recovery, because he actually went and tackled somebody and showed the rest of our team how we had to go about our job.
“We’d worked our way back into the game. We looked a threat again which we hadn’t for that 20-minute period in the second half and the game was in the balance with 10 minutes to go.
“We have a throw-in, in our half, and we throw it straight to Manchester United and they go and score. Maybe it’s fatigue with all the games we’ve played, maybe it’s a lack of concentration - but certainly it will not go without me dealing with those sort of situations when I get the opportunity to do so.
“Overall, I don’t think the performance was too bad apart that 20-minute or so spell in the second half. We’ve got to keep trying to improve and grow from here.”