The pressure has been building on Sam Allardyce at Everton and he’s finally acknowledging it, at least publicly.
The Blues are in a miserable slump at the moment, especially away from home, and will need to heavily rely on their decent home record to get them out of any relegation fears. The problem is, they have five home games with two against Manchester City and Liverpool where they will be lucky if they don’t to the five goals the Blues conceded against Arsenal earlier on this season.
Two others are against Newcastle and Southampton who are right above the drop zone and will fight tooth and nail for survival. That leaves this weekend’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion, who are coming off a convincing win over Arsenal and sit above the Blues on goal diffference.
Everton continuing to play terribly and getting drawn into the relegation mire is not beyond the realm of possibility with the parity we are seeing outside the top six this season.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Allardyce knows his situation is very unstable right now.
“I am under no illusions about my position. I have always said that managers stay in a job when they win football matches. I can’t continue to lose football matches. It is as simple as that.
“There is no point beating about the bush and saying you can have as much backing as you want. There is great backing from the owners, but I have to win matches to reassure them that I am the right man for the job.
“While that support is there, it is my responsibility to alleviate the pressure on everybody – [leading shareholder] Farhad Moshiri included – by winning football matches.”
This weekend’s game is one of those opportunities to grab three points and put some distance between the Blues and the drop zone, a margin that stands at just seven points right now.
“It is one of those big moments again this season of having to turn the season around.
“The position we have allowed ourselves to get in has put us under enormous pressure to do that. It is a huge game, one of the biggest I’ve had in my short time here, I would say, with the pressure that has been heaped upon us all by the lack of away results and we have to cope with that pressure and deliver for the fans.”
Saturday’s opponents Brighton are no pushovers either, Having won five of their last seven matches to surge up the table.
“It will be a hugely difficult game for us (and) massively important. We are all aware of the disappointment away from home but we have to look at our home results and at the moment that is where our bread and butter lies.
“That is where we have been good, we’ve won the last two home games and only conceded two goals which were penalties. We have to make sure there is no legacy of the disappointment of the last two away games and be on top form on Saturday because we need to obviously get a win.
“We need to lift ourselves and if we do that through our level of performance shown at home, we can deliver a performance which could win and that could give everyone a bit of satisfaction at the weekend.”