Relieved Everton boss Sam Allardyce praised the impact of Wayne Rooney and Cenk Tosun following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton at Goodison Park.
After near mutiny at Turf Moor last weekend, Toffees supporters were sent home happy after a much-improved display to end a run of back-to-back defeats.
Whether it’s enough to end speculation about Allardyce’s future remains to be seen. But in the short-term it at least eases any lingering fears of relegation.
The victory puts Everton ninth on 37 points, 10 points clear of the bottom three.
| Here's the manager's reaction to today's 2-0 win...— Everton (@Everton) March 10, 2018
Confirms @IGanaGueye and @SchneiderlinMo4 missed out through illness. Adds @theowalcott was subbed off with cramp - 'should be okay'. #EFCmatchday pic.twitter.com/RJzLHrcl1P
With Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin absent, Allardyce played Rooney alongside Tom Davies in midfield.
Speaking after the game, the Everton manager singled out for the former England captain for praise, despite his late missed penalty.
“What a masterful job he did for me today. His passes were the reason why we were so fluent.
The only thing that let us down in the first half our quality in front of goal, that improved in the second half.
“While all of the players played well , I thought Wayne mastered that role today.”
After Gaetan Bong put through his own net for the opener, Tosun made it 2-0 with a fine finish in off the bar for his second goal in as many matches.
After a difficult start to life on Merseyside, the Turkish international seems to be settling into life at Goodison Park.
Allardyce is hopeful Tosun can now go on a goalscoring run through to the end of the season.
”The second goal is why we brought Cenk into the club. We saw the type of finish he produced at the right time for us.
“I think he needed a bit of time. I think the Dubai trip was massive for him in getting to know the players and what it’s like to play in the Premier League.
Hopefully he will continue where he left off today and last week which is to score goals when he plays.”
Allardyce confirmed that both Gueye and Schneiderlin missed the game through illness.
He also allayed fears over the fitness over Theo Walcott, revealing that the forward was forced off through cramp rather than injury.