Allardyce: Players have no excuse anymore

Sam Allardyce says it is time for Everton to kick on in the Premier League after a two-week break in Dubai.

The former Bolton, Newcastle and England manager turned around the club with a run of five unbeaten games upon his arrival to lift them away from the relegation places.

But a run of three straight losses including their elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Liverpool meant a difficult January for the Toffees.

Since then, Everton has lost one, drawn one and won two Premier League games, last defeating Crystal Palace at the beginning of February.

And ahead of facing Watford on Saturday, Allardyce says his side have no reason not to perform after a well-needed break.

He said: “I think everybody benefited. We can hopefully reap the benefits between now and the end of the season.

“Players have no excuse anymore for not getting out there and performing. Performances have been pretty good since I arrived here.

“Who knows where we can finish now, rather than fighting against relegation.”

He added: “After Christmas and New Year you have to rotate your squad. Now I would prefer the team only gets changed by injuries or suspensions. The rest of the lads have to be patient.”

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