Everton manager Sam Allardyce admits he is "surprised" by speculation over his future at Goodison Park and insists the troubled Toffees are in a "great position" despite being just seven points above the relegation zone with 10 matches of the season remaining.
Allardyce's appointment wasn't met with universal positivity by supporters on Merseyside and, after an encouraging start to his tenure, results and his limited popularity swiftly went south. Since going on a six-match unbeaten run under the former England manager Everton have won only two of their last 10 matches and have suffered 4-0 and 5-1 hammerings by Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, the teams they were hoping to catch at the start of the season.
Allardyce signed an 18-month contract when he took the reins from interim boss David Unsworth in November but is not expected to see out his deal by the Everton faithful, who are keen for Farhad Moshiri to appoint the fifth manager of his two-year spell as the majority shareholder on Merseyside.
Indeed, the British businessman is reportedly deliberating over whether to stick with Allardyce of opt for another new boss to begin the 2018-19 campaign, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Supporters' discontent may not sit well with Allardyce, who is currently managing the seventh Premier League club of his career, but the former England manager knows that results will determine his future, as they will for every coach.
"I think I've answered this question, I'm here as long as I win football matches and if you don't it doesn't matter how long your contract is, you lose your job," Allardyce said in his press conference, per Everton's official website. "We're in a very good position, I'm surprised by the speculation. The difference is we aren't good enough away but good enough at home, if we beat Burnley we're level with them on points.
"All speculation will go on, it happens. The away form is a long-standing problem, it's not arrived with my tenure, it was a problem under Ronald and Roberto before I got here. It's something I have to remedy but it is a long-standing problem. My job is to sort the away results out, we were close to a result at Watford.
"It's never gonna change but people will always speculate with no complete information at all. Someone whispers somewhere else, the exaggeration comes in and you have to live with that."
Allardyce may have been taken aback by recent suggestions over his future, but he will hope to spring a nice surprise for the disgruntled Everton fanbase and come away from his side's trip to Burnley with all three points this weekend. The Toffees have only won one league away match in 13 months and have lost their last five matches that have not taken place at Goodison Park.