Everton boss Sam Allardyce insists his side have already achieved their main objective this season by avoiding relegation, despite growing supporter frustration at his tenure.
A section of the travelling Everton faithful chanted for Allardyce to go during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Swansea, the fans unhappy at the team’s style of play under the former England boss.
The supporters were never totally happy with Allardyce’s appointment in the first place, so it’s little surprise that those early reservations about his footballing philosophy have mushroomed into outright dissent.
Allardyce has passed the point of no return as far as the fans are concerned, meaning there is little he can to change their minds.
Therefore, his decision to replace forward Yannick Bolasie with defender Ramiro Funes Mori with 15 minutes left at the Liberty Stadium, received a predictably negative response from the away section.
When asked about the fans’ reaction after the game Allardyce acknowledged their frustration, but defended his side’s display.
“I never get annoyed by the fans personally because they wanted to see us play better.
“But, you have to give some credit to the opposition who don’t let us play better. They’re fighting away for points at the bottom of the league.
“You have to overcome the opposition so in the end we’ve got a very precious point.
“Yes we’d have all liked to have played better, but there’s been a big problem with our away results.
“In our last two away games we’re trying to put that right, the confidence to get away results comes from not losing and we haven’t lost today.”
When asked about the game itself, Allardyce insists it was a good point given Swansea, despite their lowly league position, had won their last four home league games.
“Even though we were in the lead we had to do a lot of battling today against Swansea, fighting for the three points, because of obviously the position they’re in.
”We’re the first team to take a point off Swansea in their last five home games, and we knew it was going to be difficult - it was exactly that.
”We didn’t make it easy for ourselves because of our poor passing but we got our noses in front. Swansea’s pressure eventually told but Pickford made some great saves.
”We were nearly the winners when Coleman hit the bar, but I have to say the point overall was satisfying for us. Two games away from home without defeat is moving forward in the right direction.”
Saturday’s draw moved Everton onto 42 points and within one point of eighth place Leicester with four games remaining.
When asked what would constitute success this campaign, Allardyce added:
“I’ve already done it. It’s already been done. It was all about relegation when I got here.
”Now yes we want to finish as high as we can, but what has been achieved is exactly what we needed to do.
”What I’m glad to say is what the players have done, is that they’ve done it far more than anybody else below us, because all those teams are struggling.
”When we had teams like Southampton and West Brom above us when I joined - look where they are and look where we are.”