Sam Allardyce has clarified his remarks comparing the expectations of Everton fans to those of his former clubs Newcastle United and West Ham, with the manager now claiming the Toffees can boast of significantly more prestige than their rivals.
Allardyce lasted less than a season in charge of Newcastle and was a divisive figure at the Hammers, whose supporters felt his style of football was not in keeping with the club’s perceived progressive traditions.
After guiding Everton away from the relegation zone, his tenure on Merseyside has also soured somewhat in recent weeks, the team having lost three of their last four matches to sit 11th in the table.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of the home game with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, the former Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, England and Crystal Palace boss attempted to win back supporters irked by his recent comments.
“The history of Everton is far greater than Newcastle and West Ham,” he said.
“Everton is completely different from Newcastle and West Ham. It was just a comparison. If you don’t play as well as they [supporters] expect you to play, they show their disapproval.
“You’ve got to turn it around… and get everybody behind you.”
— Everton (@Everton) March 8, 2018
Allardyce is reportedly set to be replaced in the off-season, with owner Farhad Moshiri said to be unconvinced by the incumbent, who was appointed in the wake of a disastrous start to the campaign under Ronald Koeman.
The manager, though, insisted he intends to earn the right to remain in charge.
“I’m having talks with him [Moshiri], but those talks are confidential of course,” he said.
“We’re in a difficult period at the moment, yes. But we’ve got to turn that around, starting on Saturday.
“I came out of retirement because I was excited about the long-term plan. I know all about Everton and what it demands and what you’ve got to try and achieve. I wanted it to be a long-term appointment.”
Everton have lost Eliaquim Mangala, on loan from Manchester City, to a knee injury for the rest of the season, but fellow defenders Ramiro Funes Mori, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are available to face Brighton.
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