Frank Lampard will be in charge of Everton for their FA Cup third-round tie at Manchester United on Friday amid doubts over his long-term future at Goodison Park.
The Everton manager is under severe pressure following a run of eight defeats in 11 matches in all competitions and one win from 10 Premier League games.
After the latest, a shambolic 4-1 home defeat by Brighton on Tuesday, Lampard said a decision on his future was beyond his control with Everton hovering one point and one place above the relegation zone. They dropped into the bottom three after results on Wednesday night.
Lampard arrived at Everton’s Finch Farm training complex early on Wednesday morning and took a warm-down training session as planned in the afternoon. His press conference to preview the FA Cup tie will also go ahead as scheduled on Thursday.
The 44-year-old held talks with the director of football, Kevin Thelwell, and chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, at Finch Farm, although that was part of a pre-planned visit by the pair and it is the club’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, who will ultimately decide whether to seek the eighth permanent manager of his chaotic tenure.
Lampard is acutely aware he needs a reaction at Old Trafford, and to avoid a repeat of the heavy defeat against Brighton, to buy time before two critical league games against fellow strugglers Southampton and West Ham.
There is an acceptance at Everton that the team’s forward options must be improved this month, with Richarlison sold in the summer, Dominic Calvert-Lewin restricted to six starts this season by injury and new signings Neal Maupay and Dwight McNeil failing to have an effect.
The dreadful run of results, however, that culminated in fans turning on the board and their own players at Goodison on Tuesday, has cast doubt on how much longer Lampard will have to work with any new signings with Everton ensconced in another relegation battle.