English Premiership

Allardyce: Rooney had done his job

2018-04-09 09:36
Wayne Rooney (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Everton manager Sam Allardyce has stood by his decision to haul off Wayne Rooney early in the second half during the 231st Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Rooney didn't take kindly to being replaced by Idrissa Gueye on 57 minutes in the goalless draw with Liverpool, as Allardyce went in search of a first win against their neighbours in eight years.

The Reds controlled the game at Goodison Park, but the Toffees finished strongly and had chances to claim a rare derby win, leaving the 63-year-old to muse about the changes he made.

Allardyce felt the substitution gave the hosts more verve on the pitch, while insisting that the 31-year-old had performed the task he was given.

"We needed more legs, and as talented as Wayne is and as good as he is on the ball, we needed to get about the pitch a bit more, and he'd done his job," Big Sam told Sky Sports.

"Idrissa has got himself fit again, but not fit to start, so he was always going to get at least 30 minutes today, and we know how much energy he has got. That gave us a bit more impetus in midfield, and also creativity going forward.

Commenting on Rooney's reaction, he added: "That's the way the game goes, nobody is too big to be brought off. It's because it's Everton v Liverpool isn't it? He's bound to be disappointed, there's no doubt.

"But I make the decisions, and those decisions I think have made the team more of an attacking force, and gave us more opportunities to win the game.

"You've got to do the right thing to help the team as a manager, and I think we did the right thing today to make those changes."

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