Everton manager Sam Allardyce has told of his desire to stay on Merseyside for a number of years but knows he must garner positive results if he is to bolster his wafer-thin chances of remaining in power beyond this summer.
Allardyce penned an 18-month contract in November and, after an encouraging start to his tenure with the troubled Toffees, has seen his rather finite stock slide over the past few months, with results and performances deteriorating at a rate of knots.
The lack of excitement and any sort of tangible ambition from Allardyce has not exactly struck a chord with Everton fans, who are eager to see the former England boss relieved of his duties sooner rather than later.
But Allardyce, who had announced his retirement from football management when he left Crystal Palace last May, is determined to be a part of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri's long-term plan at Goodison Park and is intent on making a sustained success of himself on Merseyside, where he has garnered more detractors than allies since arriving late last year.
Asked if he feels he is the man to lead Everton beyond this summer, Allardyce said per The Liverpool Echo: "Of course. There's tough times and there's times when you have to stay focused on what you want to achieve. It's disappointing where we've slipped to after the fantastic position we put ourselves in when I came through the door.
"I came out of retirement because there's a long-term plan that I was excited to be a part of. I know all about Everton and what you have to achieve. I want it to be a long-term appointment. I talk to Farhad but those talks are confidential."
Everton have only won twice in 2018 and will be hard-pressed to increase their woeful win ratio when Brighton and Hove Albion come to town on Saturday (10 March). Allardyce's side are fresh off the back of two damning away defeats which have allowed their upcoming opponents to leapfrog them in the table, and the former Newcastle United and West Ham United boss has called on his struggling stars to play their way out of a slump that has allowed relegation fears to linger once again.
"We're in a difficult period, yes, but we have to turn that around starting Saturday," Allardyce said. "Players' responsibility is to play their best and when we do that we can give anyone a game.
"When it comes to Brighton, it's more about our players delivering a performance. We're all under pressure at the moment."