Everton strolled to an ultimately comfortable 4-1 win over Brentford at Goodison Park earlier today to go into the Fifth Round draw of the FA Cup and give new manager Frank Lampard a warm welcome to life at Goodison Park.
The Toffees scored first for the first time in close to a dozen games, and overcame a bout of the hiccups early in the second half to cruise to victory. After the final whistle, Lampard was complimentary of his players and their newfound confidence [beIN Sports, via teamTALK] -
“The way we saw the players come out on the pitch. I know they’ve been through a tough time. Results have knocked confidence. So when you ask certain things of them like be brave on the ball and play through the lines like for the second goal, then that makes me really happy.
“The big thing today was the atmosphere. It’s been spoken about a lot to me. When it rises it’s really difficult to play against. The players had a responsibility to lift the fans. They did that. The fans lifted and when we do that, things can be bright.”
Under Rafa Benitez, especially towards the end of his short-lived tenure, the players looked tentative and nervous, as if afraid to make a mistake. Was that something Lampard would look to change, especially on the basis of today’s performance?
“Yes, they need to feel support for that from me and my staff. But I certainly won’t be getting carried away about winning in the FA Cup. We’ve got big games coming ahead, particularly in the league.
“So it’s important that the players keep level-headed, but there’s so many important things today that we can take as positives.”
The fans rose to welcome the new man at the beginning of the game, and Lampard has certainly noticed.
“I can’t thank the fans enough for the support I’ve had before [the Brentford victory]. Coming to this club last week in difficult times, they’ve given me messages and a feeling for the city.
“Then the reaction they showed on the pitch today, it means a lot to me. But what means even more is the way they support the team.
“There’ll be moments where we’re trying to do something that doesn’t quite work. But that’s the way I want us to go. We need their support and we absolutely got it today.”
The manager ended with an update on defender Ben Godfrey, who left the game looking to be holding his knee, with Lampard saying it was a hamstring issue.
“It’s a hamstring. I don’t know how bad, so we’ll see. I’m slightly concerned and they’re not easy to gauge from day one. We’ll have to let it settle down for two days and have a scan.
“I’m disappointed because he’s shown he’s a top young player.”