Wayne Rooney has praised the job Sam Allardyce has done since taking charge of Everton, despite a number of supporters showing their discontent with the former England boss.
The Blues fans continued their vitriolic campaign to drive the 63-year-old out of Goodison Park at the weekend, even though the Merseysiders have tasted defeat only to Manchester City in their last seven outings.
The travelling support bellowed "F*** off Sam Allardyce" as the Toffees attempted to protect their two-goal lead against Huddersfield on Saturday; showcasing the discontent at the club despite the victory over the Terriers being their second in a row.
But regardless of the animosity thrown in the manager's direction from the stands, Rooney revealed to The Mirror that the squad remain behind him.
“Obviously he’s thick-skinned, and I’m sure he’ll keep doing what he does and whatever happens, happens," the attacker said. “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.”
Allardyce became Everton's third manager of the campaign when he was appointed at the back end of November and has gone on to claim 33 points from 22 games; a record no other club outside of the top five has bettered.
And although the Toffees have enjoyed a solid run of form under the 63-year-old's watchful eye, Farhad Moshiri is expected to make a change this summer, with Rooney admitting the club need a period of stability.
“I think that’s what everybody wants,” said the former England international. “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.”
Captain Phil Jagielka went on to echo his team-mate's thoughts after Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye downed struggling Huddersfield; turning his attention to the calls from supporters in particular.
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“You never want to stop the fans from having their thoughts,” the defender said. “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.”
Following the match, Allardyce himself was put under the microscope regarding the situation; asked if he had ever received such criticism while harvesting so many points.
“Not with that many points, no," the Everton boss added. “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.”