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Lampard: The spirit was immense, I am overwhelmed

Manager’s comments after Everton secure Premier League survival

Everton v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

There isn’t an Everton fan out there that isn’t still catching their breath. A classic game of two halves where the Toffees stormed back from the prospect of having to go to Arsenal on the last day of the season needing points to secure survival after a deflating loss, to scoring three times for the first time in weeks to win 3-2 and guarantee they would still be in the Premier League next season.

The Blues came back from 2-0 down at the break to record a thrilling 3-2 win — their first ever comeback from two goals behind in the Premier League — with goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin late on to ensure safety as Leeds cannot catch them anymore in the relegation battle.

Speaking immediately after the game to Sky Sports, manager Frank Lampard talked about his message to the players in the dressing room when they looked destined to keep fighting against Burnley and Leeds right until the last weekend of the season.

“Well sometimes as a manager if you’re honest you have to just kind of fake it, act a bit, not show your feelings because you have to try and turn people, inspire people. There was a small change, Dele Alli came on, Dele was amazing.

“The shape of the team, we changed before half-time but we could give some information. My point was it’s not the tactical change, it’s the emotions now and it’s the character and can you energize the crowd, can you score an early goal to get us back in the game and you have to believe in anything.

“A really simple message. From then on it’s just the players, hand it over to them, they deserve all the credit.”

Asked on how he felt emotionally, the manager echoed the sentiments of thousands of supporters around the world.

“What it means to this club and the circumstances we did it in, because at half-time we weren’t dead and buried but people on the outside would probably say that.

“And then the character of this club, fans, players just dragged us through. The spirit of the club was immense, immense.

“I’m overwhelmed and I’ve got so much thanks for people because there’s a lot of people who have worked so hard for that, to get over the line today. Namely the players, the fans, the board, my staff. Huge night for Everton and now we want to take that forward.”

There will be all summer to worry about how to rebuild this team, but for now, Everton are safe, the last game of the season doesn’t matter any more and we can all finally sleep again.