Frank Lampard has said Everton’s players cannot be selfish and must put the team’s fight against relegation before their own interests.
The Everton manager admits he exchanged words with some players after Saturday’s damaging home defeat by Southampton, which left the club joint-bottom of the Premier League and Lampard in a precarious position before Saturday’s trip to West Ham.
Lampard did not elaborate on what was said or who was involved, but made clear he expects “good teammates” who will fight for Everton “and not think about themselves”.
“I had things to say because from my point of view, in the position we are in, we have to fight and be ready for the fight,” he said. “If the players in the dressing room are disappointed we lost then that is good. If they want to fight and be a good teammate and not think about themselves, think about the team, try to get the result the next week and train throughout the week with great intensity, whether they are starting or not, that is all I want. On the back of games like Southampton that reality has become even more clear.”
Lampard, who has seen another striking target head to another relegation rival with Danny Ings poised to join West Ham, added: “Whether a player’s confidence is down a little, big or wherever they are at in their game, they have to think about what is the way out of difficult moments. I have been in many in my career and the only way is work, the only way is focus and the only way is being unselfish about it and putting yourself to the limit.”
Lampard has spoken to Anthony Gordon and Yerry Mina after footage emerged of them being confronted by fans as they left Goodison Park in their cars on Saturday. “Firstly, this isn’t just an Everton situation,” Lampard said. “I’ve been at clubs where similar things have happened to myself and other players, so let’s not make this an Everton conversation. I’ve spoken to the players and we don’t want that and I’d love to not see that again.
“But I also understand passionate fans and what they want. Players have to understand when they are lucky enough to be working in this industry, lucky to do a good job, that sometimes they have to take some things. But those things I hope don’t happen again.”