In a mostly uneventful press conference ahead of Everton’s home game against Southampton tomorrow, manager Sam Allardyce stuck mostly to the script and didn’t make any shocking allegations for once. Here’s his comments, starting with how he found the club when he joined in November.
“There’s always a lack of confidence when you first arrive. I’m here because things were not going well and which I don’t think anyone expected at the start of the season. You use your abilities and experience to pull the players through that and build the confidence again.
“You do that by finding out how best a team can play, and with the squad that is available to you.”
Speaking about looking forward to the upcoming transfer window and preseason -
“Very much so. Preseason in terms of what we’re going to do and when we start back - there’s the difficulty of the World Cup of course - but the pre-season plans are all in place.
“What happens at the end of the season for recruitment with players in and out is pure speculation at the moment. You can only react on what happens on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis.
“Realistically you have to wait to see what is available and if anyone comes for your players. Then if everything falls into line from negotiations then you make a decision with the Board on what is right for the football club.”
He was also asked about what the club’s aspirations should be.
“I think where we are, seventh last year and eighth at the moment, we’ve got to maintain that position.
“It all depends on the recruitment in the summer. What the quality of player might be, where is he, does he want to come to Everton, can we get him through the door to make the club better?
“Plans are in place. Names are on lists, yes, but are they achievable? We’re in a volatile market in such a short period of time this summer.
Our window is closing before everyone else this year and with the World Cup, it is tough.”