Big Sam has been speaking ahead of his return to St James’ Park tonight, revealing how he plans to nullify and NUFC attacks in a bid to keep the crowd quiet – also targeting our leaky defence at the other end, suggesting they’ll attack more than they did at Anfield on Sunday.
Since his appointment, Everton’s form has really picked up. They won back to back home games, beating West Ham 4-0, followed by a 2-0 win over Huddersfield and added to that with a 3-0 win on the road in the Europa League, followed by a late point in the Merseyside derby at Anfield over the weekend.
With all of the above in mind, they’ll be coming in to tonight’s game with a bit of a spring in their step.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the game, pinpointing two key areas to silence the St James’ Park crowd tonight:
“The test is to nullify Newcastle’s attack because it keeps the crowd quiet. Then you get the opportunity to go and attack their defence.
“They conceded three goals against Leicester and we will be looking at that.”
“I don’t expect it to be any easier than the Liverpool game.
“If you sit off for a second then teams will punish you. We have to be 100% and we have to play a difficult tactic. Our plan will be slightly different.”
Allardyce then touched on Benitez’s recent struggle at NUFC, suggesting (quite rightly) that this is a very different set up and level of playing squad than Rafa has been use to in recent jobs with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Napoli:
“I think it’s difficult compared to what he (Rafa Benitez) is used to. It’s a different set of tools.
“I think that I have listened to what they have said and frustration is always a manager’s concern when it comes to quality of player.
“Mike Ashley has said he can have every penny to spend. As a manager you have to use that spending power the best as you can.”
It’ll be tough tonight. I’m not expecting many goals, but hopefully we won’t succumb to Allardyce’s plan – with the Everton boss likely to be doing everything he can to unsettle a St James’ Park crowd he knows all too well.