Everton boss Sam Allardyce admitted he the felt pressure ease after Cenk Tosun doubled the Toffees’ lead in the 2-0 win over Brighton at Goodison Park.
Tosun fired home in the 76th minute, 16 minutes after Gaetan Bong’s own goal had put Everton in front.
Allardyce’s men, up to ninth in the Premier League, went into the contest having lost their previous two games at Burnley and Watford.
When it was put to the 63-year-old that his reaction had indicated he enjoyed the second goal, Allardyce said: “I did, because it took the pressure off.
“We live under pressure and the pressure has been on this week. We all felt it, I think you do.”
Everton – beaten in each of their last five away matches in the league, but looking against Brighton for a third successive home win – had the chance to make it 3-0 in the 88th minute, only for Wayne Rooney to see his penalty saved by Mathew Ryan.
By that time Brighton were down to 10 men, Anthony Knockaert having been sent off for a wild tackle on Leighton Baines.
Allardyce was full of praise for his team’s performance, expressed his delight with Rooney’s individual display after deploying him in a deep midfield position, and said Everton “only have to put one thing right – our away results.”
Allardyce said: “I think the quality told in the end.
“It’s a shame Wayne missed the penalty because he had a very good performance in a sitting midfield role.
“While all the players played really well, I thought he mastered that position today. I thought he was our prompter. He kept the ball moving and getting it forward, and kept the flow of the attacks going.
“Overall a very good performance, which isn’t unusual at home – it is what has been delivered on a regular basis.
“The last 10 home games is seven wins, two draws and only one defeat. On that basis we are a top-six side in points gained, and on an away basis we have to improve because we are right down at the bottom.
“So we only have to put one thing right – our away results.”
Allardyce said Rooney played in the position he did after Idrissa Gueye was ruled out by sickness, as was Morgan Schneiderlin. He also said when asked about Theo Walcott limping off that it was “cramp, so he should be OK”.
Brighton, unbeaten in five league games prior to this, are now 11th in the table, still seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said he had “no complaints with the red card”.
And of the Seagulls’ performance, he said: “I was surprised, particularly with the form we have been in.
“I’m disappointed. We went in at half-time having not played well but still very much in the game.
“There was our opportunity to improve and come out better second half, and unfortunately we didn’t.”