Thursday 12 December 2019

Allardyce will assess Toffees' squad quality before window opens

New Everton manager Sam Allardyce gestures during the Premier League win over Huddersfield at Goodison Park last Saturday
New Everton manager Sam Allardyce gestures during the Premier League win over Huddersfield at Goodison Park last Saturday

Sam Allardyce hopes to have all his absent players back in action so he can fully assess the Everton squad he inherited before the January transfer window.

Allardyce launched his latest managerial role with a 2-0 win at Goodison Park against Huddersfield, courtesy of second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The former England boss, who became the first manager to take charge of seven Premier League clubs when he signed an 18-month contract on Thursday, said his priority now is to take a good look at the players not involved on Saturday.

"I think getting the players who are injured, getting them fit again, is a main priority before everybody starts talking about the January window," Allardyce said.

Summer signings Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez have struggled to adapt to the Premier League, while the likes of Ross Barkley, Michael Keane and Leighton Baines were also missing against Huddersfield due to injury.

"I have to say, when I've looked at this season's history of games played, players getting injured, it's no wonder they have struggled in all honesty," said Allardyce, who has already been linked with possible moves for Watford striker Troy Deeney and Sevilla midfielder Steven N'Zonzi.

"The number of fixtures early on in the season, the amount of games played in the Europa Cup and then the League Cup and the Premier League and injuries on top of that.

"The new players haven't been able, for me - especially the foreign players - to settle in and show what they can really do yet.

"So hopefully we can get more out of them and they can be more determined to show more than they have already because we'll need them going into the Christmas and New Year period, which is going to be another hell of a battle."

Huddersfield's slide down the table continued after a fourth-straight Premier League defeat and head coach David Wagner admitted for the first time this season that his players are lacking in confidence.

"Of course, there is no doubt about it. If you are unsuccessful, if you don't score, don't have a result, your confidence drops," said Wagner, whose side have failed to score in eight games on the road.

"This is the case, there is no doubt about it. But here was the first time this was the case and this is what we have to turn (around)."

Wagner though is convinced his players will bounce back at home against Brighton next week and prove the doubters wrong. "This is one of the qualities this group of players has shown in the last two years," he added.

"I don't know how often this group was written off in the past and they always came back and this is the case now as well.

"If you ask me about four defeats and what happened, I understand the question, but the players have shown in the past that this is nothing."

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