Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has explained how Sam Allardyce has given the team a “little bit of spark” since joining as manager.
The Toffees have won two consecutive home matches – against West Ham and Huddersfield – since Allardyce was appointed eight days ago.
Before that, the team had endured a miserable run, being thrashed 1-5 at home to Atalanta in the Europa League and 4-1 away to Southampton.
Results and performances under previous manager Ronald Koeman and subsequent caretaker boss David Unsworth had been poor.
But Big Sam has made a decent start to life at Goodison Park – and club record signing Sigurdsson has revealed exactly what the 63-year-old has brought to the party.
Praising his new gaffer’s “direct” style, he told the BBC : “We know what he wants and he explains it very well. He looks after the players very well to get the best out of them. He’s very experienced and I think that will benefit us.”
On Sunday, Allardyce faces his toughest test since taking charge – the Merseyside derby against Jurgen Klopp’s free scoring Liverpool side at Anfield.
Sigurdsson, a £45million capture from Swansea, said simply getting a permanent manager in had been crucial in injecting “a little bit of a spark”.
He said: “We’re all used to being in the position where we change a manager and wait to get a permanent manager. For us as players it’s quite simple.
“It would be an easy excuse for us to try and use that. It does tend to happen that when you get someone in something happens. A little bit of spark.”
A regular in the Iceland national team, Sigurdsson is used to being the underdog, so he isn’t isn’t fazed by the prospect of facing red hot Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and co on Sunday.
He said his own confidence level had improved significantly thanks to a a handful of goals and assists in his last few outings