‘I am a big boy’: Lampard demands Everton show courage in survival fight

  • Players must show ‘big balls’ after defeat to Brighton, says coach
  • Lampard admits side need goals but signing striker is ‘not easy’

Frank Lampard says the stark reality of Everton’s situation is that he and the team are in a fight for survival and must show “big balls” to drag themselves out of the mire.

The Everton manager heads to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Friday under intense pressure with his side in the relegation zone after one win in 10 Premier League matches. Lampard insisted he did not need a vote of confidence from the club’s hierarchy – not that one has been forthcoming since Tuesday’s calamitous home defeat by Brighton – and has not sought assurances over his future. He also clarified Everton do not have to sell players to buy but acquiring the striker required to improve the team will be difficult.

Lampard offered more realism than defiance as he assessed Everton’s predicament, admitting there is “a lot of work to be done off the pitch to be better in every way” and that the club is not immune from losing its proud top-flight status after 69 years.

“I came here with my eyes wide open,” said Everton’s seventh permanent manager of the turbulent Farhad Moshiri era. “I am a big boy. I do not fear anything. The reality was clear last year. We were in a relegation fight when I got here. Then there is a reality in the summer when Richarlison moves on and we start to rebuild the squad. You can’t replace those goals unless you go to certain levels and we were not able to get there. That is the reality for me. I can be blunt about it. I don’t need to hide behind anything.

“When it is like that you have to fight to get every ounce from everything to get the time to improve. People talk about Everton and say they have never gone down for years and they should never go down. That is not the case any more. We have to be real, show it and do it, like we did in the run-in last season. We have to do that now.”

Everton supporters turned on the board and players during the Brighton defeat. A collection of 17 fan and social media groups issued an open letter to Moshiri on Thursday calling on the owner to “make sweeping changes at chair, board and executive levels” and “bring in competent, experienced professionals who can reverse our decline and make us competitive once more”.

Jordan Pickford and Idrissa Gueye argue after Brighton’s fourth goal against Everton on Tuesday.
Jordan Pickford and Idrissa Gueye argue after Brighton’s fourth goal against Everton on Tuesday. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Lampard said of the hostility on Tuesday: “To play for Everton, you can really enjoy 5,000 people coming here [Finch Farm training ground] before games that helped us get a victory last year and maybe sometimes you have to show big balls as well to play in difficult moments. It is a passionate fanbase and I’ve got no problem with that. At this moment it is on us to bring them with us and stand up and play for Everton.

“I want to be a success at this club. Whatever challenges that come, I will take them head on and actually enjoy them. I enjoy working for this club, it’s a real honour for me. I don’t need reassurances; I’m a big man who is working for a great club.”

Everton have had six months to find a replacement for Richarlison but, other than recalling Ellis Simms from a productive loan at Sunderland, they are not close to adding the striker desperately needed.

Lampard, linked with a loan move for Aston Villa’s Danny Ings, said: “I am not talking about Danny Ings but both loan or buying players are on the table. You want to recruit the right type of player, especially at the top end of the pitch. It is not an easy situation. We want to improve the squad in January but my job first has to be to work with the players we have.”

Nathan Patterson will be sidelined for six weeks with a medial knee ligament injury sustained against Brighton.


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Frank Lampard to remain in charge of Everton for FA Cup amid serious doubts
Frank Lampard will be in charge of Everton’s for their FA Cup third-round tie at Manchester United on Friday

Andy Hunter

04, Jan, 2023 @6:38 PM

Article image
Lampard believes ‘beautiful’ survival battle has made Everton stronger
Manager believes sense of togetherness on and off the pitch can push club forward after successful battle against the drop

Andy Hunter

05, Aug, 2022 @9:30 PM

Article image
Everton survival could hinge on Crystal Palace result, says Frank Lampard
Manager urges players, staff and fans to seize the moment ahead of home game where victory would ensure Everton’s survival

Andy Hunter

18, May, 2022 @9:30 PM

Article image
‘One of the greatest moments of my life’: Lampard revels in Everton survival
Frank Lampard delighted in Everton’s 3-2 win against Crystal Palace that ended relegation fears, singling out Dele Alli’s role on ‘an amazing night’

Andy Hunter at Goodison Park

19, May, 2022 @11:05 PM

Article image
Frank Lampard says VAR is favouring semi-final rivals Manchester United
Frank Lampard has warned Chelsea’s defenders to be wary of conceding penalties in their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Sunday

Jacob Steinberg

17, Jul, 2020 @9:30 PM

Article image
Frank Lampard talks of Chelsea's 'three finals' after FA Cup semi win
After seeing his side beat Manchester United to reach the FA Cup final, Frank Lampard urged Chelsea to build on their potential by qualifying for the Champions League

Jacob Steinberg

19, Jul, 2020 @9:38 PM

Article image
Lampard admits ‘business decision’ may decide Gordon’s Everton future
Frank Lampard has reiterated his desire to keep Anthony Gordon but admitted the Everton forward’s future will be decided on ‘football and business level’

Andy Hunter

19, Aug, 2022 @9:30 PM

Article image
Frank Lampard says schedule could harm Everton’s survival prospects
Frank Lampard has criticised the Premier League fixture schedule in a week when relegation-threatened Everton play three matches

Andy Hunter

05, Apr, 2022 @9:30 PM

Article image
Frank Lampard lambasts players after Everton crumble at Crystal Palace
Everton’s manager questioned if lack of confidence alone led to their 4-0 FA Cup defeat and wondered of his team: ‘Have you got the bollocks to play?’

Barney Ronay at Selhurst Park

20, Mar, 2022 @4:41 PM

Article image
Farhad Moshiri backs Lampard and board amid supporter unrest at Everton
The Everton owner has said he has faith in the club’s manager, Frank Lampard, and the board despite disquiet from fans

Andy Hunter

11, Jan, 2023 @7:09 PM