Sam Allardyce has challenged his players to show “consistency in their results” ahead of their trip to Arsenal on Saturday.
Everton picked up their first win in eight games when a Theo Walcott double helped defeat Leicester City at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
Despite that run, the Blues have stayed in ninth place in the table and Allardyce has called for his side to use that success over the Foxes as a spur to kick-start a run of results similar to the seven games unbeaten when he first took charge of the Toffees back in December.
“The win over Leicester eases the pressure and the players were starting to feel that after a few games without a win,” he said. “When that happens the pressure mounts on all of us. Getting the result against City was very important because we had done so well when I first came.
“Even though we hadn’t won in our previous seven, we have stayed ninth. That we hadn’t moved in the table kept the pressure off us but it was getting to a point where had we not won and others did, we could have dropped four or five places. That would have put that pressure back on us.
“Looking at it from the other side, we are only three points off Leicester [in eighth]. So it’s a case of can we push on and be more consistent with our results? It’s a big ask ahead of Saturday because Arsenal’s home record is one of the best in the Premier League.”
Allardyce admits he has a welcome selection poser ahead of the trip to the Emirates.
Seamus Coleman’s mercurial efforts on his comeback from 10 months out against Leicester, in which he played the full 90 minutes, need close assessment over whether he can feature against the Gunners.
And the Blues boss can also call upon the services of Eliaquim Mangala, after the France defender completed a deadline day loan move from Manchester City.
“I don’t normally go this far – but it was almost superhuman,” Allardyce said of Coleman’s performance. “I have never seen anyone come back from 10 months out and perform for 90 minutes [like that]. The character of the man is a great example for particularly the young players at Everton.
“Now we have to make sure we keep him fit and in the team every week if we can. We will have an assessment of him this morning over whether we can play him again. That’s a big decision – although I know for a fact that he will say he’s fine! We will take everything into consideration and make a decision.
“We have had the opportunity to bring Eliaquim in on loan as well. His defensive play is very good and he is naturally left-footed, where we haven’t got a natural left-footer at all in the team at the moment. So now we have someone who can play down the left-hand side, which will not only be better defensively but will also allow us to create that little bit more.
“You could see on Wednesday that our strength lay down the right. Our left was pretty good but now we have to try and get better in both areas. When you have a naturally left-footed player then you have balance.”
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