Toivonen has been selected fairly regularly by Allardyce, but the 61-year-old boss hasn’t been particularly impressed by the Swedish international.
However, Toivonen was handed a slightly deeper midfield role during Sunderland’s match against Arsenal last weekend, and Allardyce was encouraged by his performance.
“He hadn’t had the best of times since I’ve been here with niggly injuries; coming back from international games,” Allardyce said.
“A couple of times we played him in his more suited position, he hadn’t done as well as I expected.
“But at Arsenal, he seemed to link up pretty well with Yann [M’Vila].
“It’s nice to see when someone plays in a different position and does well.”
Toivonen joined Sunderland from Rennes in the summer transfer window, and he is yet to fully establish a place in the team.
The 29-year-old has been utilised in a number of different positions, with his versatility proving to be an asset.
Toivonen has now made eight appearances in the Premier League for the Black Cats, and he will be hoping to nail down his place over the coming weeks.
Sunderland’s next match comes against Watford at the weekend, and a win could take them out of the relegation zone.