A positive change in mentality can help Everton end their poor away run in the Premier League this season, manager Sam Allardyce said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke City.The Merseyside club are on a five-match losing streak away from Goodison Park and have won just one of their 15 away league games this campaign, the same number as bottom-two sides Stoke and West Bromwich Albion.In contrast, ninth-placed Everton have won nine of their 15 home league matches to help them maintain their position in the top half of the standings.“We’ve tried a number of things. Changing system, changing personnel – but changing mentality is the big one,” Allardyce told reporters on Thursday.“We’ve been using some more work into the mind in the analysis room. Who we are, what we want to achieve, what we can get.“Visualising the performance you give at the top level and thinking of that to put yourself in a positive frame of mind… Tactically the preparation is fine but having a good frame of mind gives a better chance of it being delivered.”Allardyce identified Stoke playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri as their biggest threat, with the 63-year-old boss urging his team to mark the Swiss international carefully and stop him from influencing the game.Everton said on Wednesday that midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson was expected to return from a knee injury in six to eight weeks but Allardyce is hopeful that the Iceland international can get back on the pitch ahead of schedule.“I’ve always felt it’s wrong to tag an injury with time limits,” Allardyce added. “You want to avoid setbacks. If you can get it before then you’ve done well.“We’ll look at it in the next two weeks. There’s a settling down period and then how quickly the player recovers. Gylfi is motivated to return for us and Iceland at the World Cup.”Stoke are 19th in the standings, a point adrift of the safety zone with eight games left to play.
• Photo Gallery: BacaUnder renewed fire for freeing Paris Hilton, Sheriff Lee Baca faced racism charges Monday from the Rev. Al Sharpton, a lawsuit from a double-amputee incarcerated in the same jail as the celebrity heiress and a campaign to boot him from office.Baca has survived a barrage of controversy since taking office in 1998, ranging from releasing dangerous criminals early to kowtowing to celebrities — including last year’s handling of actor Mel Gibson’s drunken-driving arrest and anti-Semitic tirade.Hilton is now back in jail after a judge ordered her to complete what is expected to be a 23-day sentence. And political observers doubt whether she’ll be Baca’s downfall. But they say the whole affair is bound to further erode his credibility and teach the veteran lawman a Hollywood lesson.“He’s fallen into the swamp that seems to happen to all public people when dealing with celebrities,” said Raphael Sonenshein, a political science professor at Cal State Fullerton.“It’s the blind spot in Los Angeles politics.”Baca’s decision last week to release Hilton from jail after serving only three days of her sentence drew immediate calls of injustice from around the country.Baca has denied any special favors for Hilton. Baca said her release was based on a medical reason, but he has refused to elaborate. Sharpton met with Baca on Monday to talk about what could be done to address the reality that many people in jail are not released early or provided the medical attention Hilton has received.“I feel that Miss Hilton … was afforded a kind of treatment that was not afforded to many people that are working class, of poor economic status of any community, and in the African-American community of any economic status,” Sharpton said.“The most disturbing thing to me was the perception that because of Miss Hilton’s economic standing and race that she was given treatment that others held in jail in this county were not given.”Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the meeting was productive.“He believes that everybody, bringing the best minds together, can come up with the best solutions,” Whitmore said.”And they will continue to have dialogue.”At a press conference earlier in the day, attorney Gloria Allred said she had filed a $1 million claim on behalf of Los Angeles resident Pamela Richardson, 51, alleging that while incarcerated at the Lynwood jail the African-American woman was treated far worse than Hilton. The suit alleges Richardson was treated poorly because of her race and her disability.On Feb. 28, Richardson, a U.S. Army veteran who suffered a double amputation of her legs, was arrested in a case of “mistaken identity” and jailed, the suit says. While her left leg was reattached, it never fully recovered and remains weak. She wears a prosthetic replacement on her right leg and a brace on her left leg.In jail, the devices were removed from her and she was handcuffed to a gurney. When she sat up, she suffered a hernia, Allred said.Although she filed several complaints, she received no treatment and was often left to “crawl like an animal” to use the toilet and shower, Allred said. She was also denied medication she needed as a result of having suffered from cancer.“I thought Paris got treated like a queen compared to how I was treated,” Richardson said. “It would have been a big thrill if they had just listened to me.”Andrew Ahlering, a former candidate for county supervisor has launched the www.recallbaca.com Web site and campaign to recall him. He said the campaign has gotten a lot of attention, including an interview on CNN.“We’ve already received offers of support,” said Ahlering, 27, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and is a former county employee.Experts said the Richardson case may be the first of many to be filed against the county by inmates alleging poor medical care in the jails.Since the controversy erupted last week, the Board of Supervisors has been bombarded with hundreds of e-mails from irate people across the nation calling for Baca’s removal. The supervisors’ offices have also received numerous requests from inmates who “want to leave jail for the same reasons that Paris Hilton claimed,” said Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Michael Antonovich.In an irony only Hollywood could create, the Hilton saga is inadvertently drawing attention to the need to improve inmate medical care, Sharpton said.“I think it’s ironic that it would take this for us to look at itBut, you know, I’m a preacher. People tell me God has a sense of humor. This is an example of that.”email@example.com(213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!