Allardyce on being clinical, improving at both ends and Everton

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce says clean sheets have “always been the backbone for success” as his Albion side target a third consecutive shutout.

The Baggies prevented Burnley and Brighton from scoring against them in their two previous Premier League games, with high-flying Everton next up at The Hawthorns on Thursday night (ko 6pm).

Confidence in the Albion camp is high heading into the clash with the Toffees having taken five points from the last three matches.

But Allardyce insists the players must keep recording clean sheets, and keep making improvements in all areas of the pitch, if their purple patch is to continue.

He said: “We have to keep getting better and better. 

“We’ve got to get better defensively because we gave away two penalties last weekend. I’m not 100% sure if they were penalties, but we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position for the referee to make a decision.

“We have to improve passing accuracy, our flow, our movement and when we get to the final third, we need to improve our delivery and end product.

“We’re happy to have won the last game against Brighton, but we still need to improve.

“Clean sheets are the backbone of us trying to scrape our way out of the position we are in. 

“It’s the backbone of everything you do to try and get out of the relegation zone.

“It’s the backbone of why you win the league. The team which wins the league is normally the team with the most clean sheets.

“It’s always the backbone for success. The amount of clean sheets we get can have a big impact on the amount of games we need to win. If we keep clean sheets it means we only need to score one goal to win a game, just like Saturday.

“Getting out of this position is doable, but we have to be very consistent in the level of our performances, be strong defensively and be clinical with our finishing.”

Everton, who have won their last two games without conceding, arrive in B71 chasing a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Allardyce’s previous managerial role was with the Toffees at Goodison Park, and the boss believes Albion will have to produce a performance similar to the one against Manchester United to get a positive result on Thursday night. 

“The game against Everton will be a big test for us and I think we will have to match the Man United performance to get a result against them.

“If we get the same opportunities against Everton as we got against Manchester United, we could put ourselves in a position to win it. 

“That would come about by great defensive work and being more clinical at the other end of the pitch in terms of our finishing.”

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