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Wayne Rooney claimed Sam Allardyce could not have done more at Everton and deserves praise – despite their fans wanting him out.
Everton fans continued their vitriolic campaign to drive out Allardyce, despite a second straight win consolidating eighth spot.
The travelling support shouted “F*** off Sam Allardyce”, even with Everton leading 2-0, proof the former England boss is fighting a losing battle to win them over.
Asked how the abuse had affected Allardyce, Everton forward Rooney said: “Obviously he’s thick-skinned and I’m sure he’ll keep doing what he does and whatever happens, happens.
“But I think he’s got the full support from the team and since he’s come in, we’d be sixth in the league if that was from the start of the season.
“We’re improving every game. We had a really difficult start to the season and that probably knocked our confidence a bit, but we’re ending it well.”
After Ronald Koeman was replaced on a caretaker basis by David Unsworth, Everton are on their third manager this season in Allardyce, who has won 33 points from 22 games, a record bettered by no club outside of the Premier League’s top five.
And although Allardyce has been bullish about staying on next season, Everton are likely to make a change at the top, given the ongoing discontent from fans, with Rooney admitting the club need a period of stability after such a turbulent campaign.
“I think that’s what everybody wants,” said Rooney. “Obviously it’s tough having three managers in one season.
“That’s not the normal situation you face and we all want stability, and I’m sure the owners will do that.”
Skipper Phil Jagielka echoed Rooney’s thoughts, after goals from Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye sealed victory for the Toffees over struggling Town.
“You never want to stop the fans from having their thoughts,” said Jagielka. “They pay a lot of money to come and watch and normally the ones who aren’t happy are the louder ones.
“We understand a few fans are frustrated, but hopefully if we keep winning games, then everybody will be a bit happier.
“Obviously it would be nice if all the songs were super positive but the way this season has gone, we expect a few grumbles here and there.”
Asked if he had ever felt so much opposition, despite having won so many points, Allardyce, who has endured similarly tough spells elsewhere, said: “Not with that many points, no.
“But I did at West Ham, at one time. I think we were fourth and still got it. I’m Marmite, aren’t I?
“The players have to go out and try and get results and entertain the fans and I think we’re doing that.
“I don’t think they can do any more than what they’re doing– and certainly me and the backroom staff can’t try any harder than we’re trying.”
Should Everton part ways with Sam Allardyce this summer?
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