Sam Allardyce was satisfied with a hard-won victory over Newcastle this evening as Theo Walcott's solitary goal allowed Everton to edge the Magpies at Goodison Park.
The Blues had the bulk of the possession but lacked quality going forward until Walcott seized on a rebound off a defender, took a touch and then thumped the ball home early in the second half.
Allardyce, who had named an unchanged side from that which drew at Swansea last weekend, paid tribute to the January signing from Arsenal and his side for seeing out a nervy last few minutes.
“Newcastle had won their last four and, apart from the last 10 minutes in fairness, we've dominated the game so for me there was only going to be one winner,” Allardyce said afterwards.
“What we didn't do is get the second goal and they put us under a bit of pressure last five minutes but we defended really well and I think it's a well-deserved win and another three important points at home, again.”
“So, moving forward here and with the fans, the support we get and the players delivering results week in and week out, that's our big bonus since I arrived here.
“It's won three, drawn two and lost won in the last six now and we've moved up the league one place again so we're on the right track and moving in the right direction.”
A banner unfurled in the Gwladys Street End before kick-off suggesting Allardyce should “get out of our club” was displayed prominently by the television cameras, leading to the manager being asked whether he thought he was starting to win over some of the Everton fans.
“Well, if I lose next week they weren't be there, will they?” he smiled. “We'll all be rubbish if we lose next week but if we win we'll be OK,” Allardyce replied. “So, let's keep winning, eh, so there don't get the criticism.
“But when does every fan like the manager? I'm working with a squad of players I've inherited and I think 8th in the League compared to fifth from bottom tells you we're getting better.”
Asked if he thought he could deliver results with the style that Evertonians expect he retorted: “What was wrong with our style today? We've completely dominated the game and out-passed the opposition.
“We found them very difficult to break down because of the very negative tactic of dropping everyone back so you have to be patient and we got the winner so you couldn't knock our football.
“You can knock some of our passing that goes astray but, in all fairness, you can't really blame me for that, can you? I don't pass the ball out there, the lads do.”