03 Mar Sam Allardyce shrugs off abuse from Everton fans following defeat at Burnley
Sam Allardyce shrugged off abuse from his own fans as Everton slumped to a sixth consecutive away loss against Burnley.
The Toffees took a 20th-minute lead thanks to Cenk Tosun’s first goal in English football but Burnley fought back and, after Ashley Barnes equalised in the 56th minute, Chris Wood headed home from a corner to seal a 2-1 victory 10 minutes from time.
Allardyce has guided Everton from the brink of the relegation zone to the top 10 in the Premier League table but there has been speculation he could leave the club at the end of the season.
The Everton fans were vocal in their disapproval of two substitutions, first when Oumar Niasse replaced Tosun and then when Yannick Bolasie came on for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Allardyce said: “It happens. Fans have what they consider a new guy coming in. My job is not what the fans are saying or not saying. What we want is the fans cheering us not booing you, of course, but I have to look at the situation.
“That’s what you deal with as a manager, everybody has an opinion and I have to make the decisions and you hope they have an impact in a positive way.”
Everton’s misery was complete in the 86th minute when captain Ashley Williams was shown a straight red card for flinging an arm into the neck of Barnes and he can expect a fine.
Allardyce said he “can’t defend” Williams, adding: “It was a silly thing to do, especially for such an experienced player.”
The Toffees boss was critical of his side’s second-half performance, saying: “It’s very frustrating to create that many chances in the first half, and not to capitalise on those more has had a massive impact on the result today.
“So we’re left extremely disappointed by the fact we’ve ended up losing the game.
“I think the second half was more about Burnley playing with Wood up front and Barnes and us not coping with the more direct style of play they chose to use.
“We didn’t produce anything like the quality we did in the first half apart from Gylfi manufacturing an opportunity for himself that he would normally have scored.
“And then we decided not to deal with the corner correctly and allow a free header. We have to say to ourselves, ‘why did we lose that?’ and it’s us, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.”
While there was dejection for Everton, Burnley were able to celebrate the end of a 12-game winless run, reaching the 40-point mark and a Premier League first. Never before had they come from behind to win a game, and manager Sean Dyche used that to inspire his side at half-time.
“I said to the players, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain because no one thinks you can come back from being down because you haven’t done historically so we just opened it up,” he said.
“It’s a big marker to get to 40 points with nine games to go. That’s not an easy thing to do. The good thing is it takes the monkey off everyone’s back. Now hopefully the freedom comes back.
“I thought we took on the second half with a real energy, a purpose and a belief in what we do and I was really pleased with that. It sounds easy but you’re 1-0 down, you’re on a tough run, it can be tricky to regain that feeling.
“It felt like a winning performance and of course it ended up being one.”