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Published: 20:20 | 6/12/17

Allardyce absence "not ideal", admits Shakespeare

Everton coach Craig Shakespeare admits Sam Allardyce's absence for Thursday's Europa League game against Apollon Limassol is "not ideal".

New Everton manager Allardyce, 63, has not travelled to Cyprus but will stay in England to attend a medical consultation arranged well in advance of his appointment as Toffees' boss last week.

Everton have already been eliminated from the Europa League after picking up just one point from their five games so far in Group E, the 2-2 draw with Apollon at Goodison Park on 28 September.

"Sam has a prior medical arrangement," Shakespeare said.

"It is not ideal. But he is fine, OK, he will be back at the training ground on Thursday or Friday."

Shakespeare, who led Leicester City to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, says Allardyce will pick the team to face Apollon and will set the tactics, but he is unsure whether the former England manager will be in communication during the game itself.

Shakespeare and first-team coach Duncan Ferguson will be in the dugout at the GSP Stadium, as Allardyce's assistant manager Sammy Lee has also stayed at home to work with those members of the first-team squad rested for the trip to Cyprus ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield.

"He picks the team, the tactics, but he'll always ask for opinions," Shakespeare continued.

"I'll speak to him tomorrow morning and find out what he wants to do. 

"I have no problem with it, of course, when the game is going on you can get wrapped up in the situation but I'll get some clarity on that."

You can watch all of Everton's Europa League campaign on the eir Sport package. Sam Allardyce's side face Lyon, Atalanta and Apollon Limassol in Group E. Everton face Apollon Limassol at the GSP Stadium on 7 December, a match which will be shown live on eir Sport 2 [kick off 6.00pm]

Photo Getty Images/ Jan Kruger

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