Everton boss Sam Allardyce admits his honeymoon period in charge at Goodison Park is over after a bright start and fears the club could be sucked into a relegation dogfight.
Allardyce was unbeaten in his opening seven fixtures after he was handed the job following Ronald Koeman’s dismissal.
But following Everton’s 4-0 drubbing by Tottenham on Saturday, the former England manager has overseen four consecutive defeats, with his side out of the FA Cup and once more looking over their shoulder in the Premier League.
Everton host West Brom on Saturday, and Allardyce said it is a must-win fixture for his out-of-sorts team, who are struggling for goals.
“The honeymoon period is over and the players have got to get back to listening to what we need to do to make sure we don’t get drawn back into the relegation zone,” Allardyce said.
“That is exactly what we are doing at the moment. We have faced facts that we can’t hide behind the wonderful run we had without being defeated.”
Everton failed to muster a shot on target against a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham team, who ran out comfortable winners.
Allardyce, who has the likes of Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson to call on, hopes to secure the services of Arsenal forward Theo Walcott this month to boost his attacking options.
Turkey forward Cenk Tosun made his debut against Spurs but did not get on the scoresheet.