Everton can start to prepare for next season – Allardyce

Joe Williams

Everton can begin to look forward to next season in the Premier League, according to manager Sam Allardyce.

The Toffees hit the magic 40-point mark that means relegation is highly unlikely following their 2-1 away victory at Stoke City.

Two goals from Cenk Tosun gave them the win and Allardyce was impressed with his side’s performance considering the snowy weather.

“Under the circumstances we are extremely pleased,” Allardyce told BBC Sport. “Considering the elements both teams competed with today they’ve given everything – even Stoke after they went down to 10 men.

“It looked a bit iffy for us again but Cenk popped up with a super goal and that’s why we bought him. It’s paid dividends for us and it puts us on the 40-point mark, and even though mathematically we are not safe I don’t think anyone can catch us now and we can start to prepare for next season.

“I think the quality of the finish caught everyone out, including the goalkeeper, but it was very difficult today to put any quality together because of the wind and snow. Wayne Rooney kept us going in midfield and kept us prodding but breaking down 10-men can be difficult.

“There weren’t that many chances and any chance can come in today’s weather – anything could happen, likely a mistake in these conditions and luckily we were the ones that capitalised on that today.”