Sam Allardyce says that his top priority since being appointed as Everton's new manager has been to tighten up what was, briefly, the leakiest defence in the Premier League.
Speaking to Jim White on Talksport, the 63-year-old said that, "things are moving in the right direction" at the club now that the team has been stabilised in the wake of Ronald Koeman's sacking and David Unsworth's difficult stint as caretaker boss.
Since beating West Ham 4-0 in Unsworth's last game in charge, Everton have kept three clean sheets in four games, culminating in last night's 1-0 victory win at Newcastle.
Asked about his start to life at Goodison, Allardyce, who has admitted he is baffled as to why the defence he has inherited was so porous before, said: “Things are moving in the right direction after what was a very disappointing run for Ronald, which ended up losing him his job.
“In the end, I've helped the players to organise themselves to stop the goals going in — that's all I've done.
“The rest of the football in possession I've left to them, I've left it to them to get on with their qualities to try and create goals.
“I've just given them the solid base to build from. I said to them - ‘Get a clean sheet. It's a big, big problem at the club at the moment and if you just do that first, you will get results and confidence will grow' — and that's exactly what's happened.
“I'd say that we're not playing at our best yet, but when confidence is growing the football should hopefully become more fluent and we'll become a more attacking and adventurous side when that confidence grows.”
Quotes sourced from TalkSport