Everton were abysmal on Monday night in their heavy defeat to Tottenham, with multiple fingers of blame to point everywhere. The biggest takeaway from that loss though was that the Blues chances of survival look that much grimmer, with Everton having picked up just two wins and nine points in their last nineteen games, the equivalent of half a season.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, it was put to Lampard quite bluntly if the job of Everton manager was much bigger than what he had anticipated when he started just before the end of January?
“I got asked that after the match and I answered then also that no, it’s not bigger than what I thought. It’s challenging, when you come into a team with the form and position we’re in, it’s clear for anyone to see. From the beginning it’s been about if we can get security and Premier League survival.”
What would he say he learned about his side after that humiliation in North London?
“Sometimes it takes defeats and losing games to show resilience that you can come back as a club and as a team. You can analyse Monday night, and it’s our job to do that to the nth degree and make sure you correct everything.
“The reality is some of the footballing decisions and mistakes in the game were not good enough. They played very well, they are top level players, but in particular areas we allowed them to do what they want to some degree, and that’s not good enough.
“When you look at the bigger picture of the amount of times we haven’t won games away from home, then you go one step further and ask, what’s the mentality? In the three away games I’ve had here, we’ve started well and are steady, and then something happens and the game turns on us. Some of that is the mentality, but a lot of it is footballing reasons.”
Everton now have two big home games coming up where they will desperately need points, but on Sunday come up against one of the best defensive sides in the league in Wolves, what would Lampard do differently?
“I’ve changed approach a few times since I’ve been here, generally because of personnel and injuries. I’ve had two centre back injuries in my first two games here. What we’ve seen in recent Premier League history that for any team that loses two frontline centrebacks it becomes really difficult.
“It won’t be a dramatic change for Wolves, it’ll be an approach we see relevant for the opposition. Maybe there will be a change because maybe we’ve got players back who are available who haven’t been. They’re big players for us. Ben Godfrey is a big player, Demarai Gray is a big player.
“I haven’t really been able to call on them but now I can and we need our big players. Dele Alli is fit and ready to start, and I am always considering it. In my position when I come in fresh I have to consider everybody that trains well and deserves to play. It’s an area of the pitch where we have good competition, with Dele he came in not having played first team football for a long time and that had to be taken into consideration.”