Sam Allardyce says Everton need to focus on keeping up their home form as they approach the business end of the Premier League season.
The Blues have been improved at Goodison Park under Allardyce, winning three, drawing three and only one of the games the former England boss has taken charge of in their home confines and it’s something he wants to build on.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Crystal Palace, he said: “It is focusing on our own form. We have won three, drawn two and lost one out of six games since I have been here, so our home form is very good and it's our best way of staying in the top half.”
"Our home form has to be continued, starting with Crystal Palace on Saturday, as it was against Leicester. As like Arsenal they go to Swansea and lose, come back and play well and beat us, we want to repeat that against Crystal Palace.”
Reflecting on Arsenal
Whilst form at Goodison Park has been of an above expectant standard, the Blues away has been atrocious - including last week’s 5-1 defeat away at Arsenal.
Reflecting on the defeat, the 63-year-old boss said: “Like you would expect, the lads have accepted that we weren’t able to compete with Arsenal but in reality an Arsenal side as good as that punishes a lot of teams and has punished a lot of teams on their home soil. It is a result we have to respond to in the right way.”
Allardyce’s side may have fallen to an Aaron Ramsey hat-trick last weekend but they have yet to win away from Merseyside since their 1-0 win over Newcastle United back at the start of December.
Whilst maintaining their home form, the away form has to be of concern to the Everton boss.
“It (Arsenal) is one of those blips we have to get over and get over it quick,” Allardyce said.
"We have created more points from going behind than most teams in the Premier League. We don’t always fall foul to a heavy defeat, we can lose a goal and get a result quite well, and as well as any team in the Premier League. We can’t forget that in one isolated incident."
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Leighton Baines is still sidelined for the game against the Eagles but could return by the time the Blues line up against Watford at the end of the month.
Seamus Coleman is likely to return after being left out of the defeat against Arsenal after Allardyce stated he wanted to manage the Republic of Ireland internationals’ return to fitness.