Everton manager Sam Allardyce has said the group are ‘eager and looking forward’ to the Stoke City clash this weekend before the club sign off for the March international break.
With a two nil victory over Brighton last weekend, Allardyce said he believed a ‘positive mindset’ was key to the side replicating their home form when we take our Premier League travels, and he wanted that particular hoodoo to be thrown from our necks so we go into the lull in the best spirits possible.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media today for his press obligations, Allardyce explained.
‘Our home form and our points-per-game ratio is up in the top three in the last eight to 10 games. In the last four games at home we`ve taken 10 points out of 12. But away from home is where we certainly have to improve and pick up some more points, starting at Stoke.’
Allardyce went on to say on that subject.
‘For everybody now it`s about producing the level of performance away that they`ve shown at home. When we`ve been in a position to get a result in the last two away games, we`ve slipped up and that`s really disappointing – not just for us – but for all the supporters who travel away. They`re there in numbers, they sell their ticket allocation out, and we want to make them as happy when they`re travelling back as we made the fans at home when we beat Brighton.’
We go into this weekend’s tie sitting in ninth place in the Premier League table and he explained that the training target this week was a focus on a positive mindset.
‘A change of mentality is the big one for us. We`ve been doing a bit more work into the mind in the analysis room about who we are, what we want to get and want we want to achieve. That is the main aim, in terms of visualising your performance. If a player spends a bit of time thinking about his best performance – and putting himself in the right frame of mind – then he`ll have a better chance of delivering that performance.’
He added about Stoke specifically.
‘Paul Lambert has made them very difficult to beat. For us (coming to the club), we looked that we`d slipped up by not keeping as many clean sheets as we could have, and he`s working on the same lines.’