English Premiership

Big Sam cancels Everton Xmas party

Sam Allardyce (Getty Images)
Sam Allardyce (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Everton boss Sam Allardyce has called off the club's Christmas party as he feels it would be inappropriate to celebrate given their recent form.

The Toffees were flirting with relegation upon Allardyce's arrival a fortnight ago, but they have moved up to 10th place after going unbeaten in their last three games.

The 63-year-old was in attendance for the 4-0 victory against West Ham at Goodison Park on November 29, before being confirmed as Ronald Koeman's successor the following day, and he has yet to taste defeat.

However, there will be no festive celebrations for his players at this time, as Allardyce wants them to focus on a gruelling fixture schedule, which sees them face Swansea, Chelsea, West Brom and Bournemouth before the turn of the year.

"I've stopped the Christmas party because it is not needed at the moment because of the position we were in when I arrived here," Allardyce said.

"I told the players I will pay them back when they come out of Christmas into January. We will socialise, but we can socialise at the right time.

"It is very important that the players - in today's environment with social media - are not seen to be out enjoying themselves too much.

"A lot has been asked of them, playing in Europe and with injuries. So the party is off until there is a period of time when we are in a very good position.

"Then I can say to the lads, 'Have a relaxing time, which you deserve'. But I don't want a call telling me they have been in trouble because they will be in more trouble with me."

The Toffees have four games in 13 days over the festive period, starting with rock-bottom Swansea City at Goodison Park on Monday.

Kick-off is at 22:00.

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