Everton's Frank Lampard offers fighting talk amid big pressure

‘Sometimes you have to show big BALLS’: Defiant Everton boss Frank Lampard offers fighting talk in response to massive pressure after eight losses in his last 11 matches

  • Boss Frank Lampard has insisted he needs no reassurances from Everton’s board
  • The Toffees manager, 44, is preparing for what might be his final game in charge 
  • Lampard’s job at Goodison Park is hanging by a thread after eight defeats in 11 
  • Another loss in the FA Cup against Man United could have grave consequences 

Frank Lampard has insisted he does not need any reassurances from Everton’s board as he prepares for what might be his final game as their manager.

Lampard was in work before daylight on Thursday and has carried on with a ‘business as usual’ approach to a job that he knows is hanging by a thread following a run of eight defeats in 11 matches. 

Another in the FA Cup against Manchester United on Friday evening is likely to have grave consequences.

Everton boss Frank Lampard has called for his side to show ‘big balls’ in their relegation fight

It is impossible to say what backing Lampard retains from the board but their silence in the 48 hours since a 4-1 thrashing at home to Brighton suggests owner Farhad Moshiri is preparing to make a change once more.

Moshiri will watch the third-round tie from his base in Monaco, having not attended an Everton game since a 5-2 home defeat by Watford in October 2021, and he will consider all options about Lampard if they are eliminated.

In such pressurised circumstances, it would have been understandable had Lampard been tetchy on Thursday, as he faced questions about his future, but the opposite was true. He handled himself with class, even doing his best to offer protection to those who will not stand beside him. 

Asked about the public relations void that has followed the loss to Brighton, Lampard said: ‘I don’t need a vote of confidence. I genuinely don’t. I don’t think it would mean much.

It is unclear how much backing Lampard retains from the board after eight losses in 11 games

‘I have had private conversations and they are the important ones for me. I am also a big boy. I know how this world works. I’m not presuming anything. I’m preparing for Manchester United.’

He is even trying to prepare for the long term, asking director of football Kevin Thelwell about the possibility of new arrivals. Everton, as Sportsmail reported on Thursday, were rebuffed with an enquiry to take Aston Villa’s Danny Ings on loan and the need to sign a striker is beyond critical.

Lampard, who stressed there is no need to offload players in order to bring new ones in, is in charge of a team who cannot score and now have difficulty keeping goals out and that is a recipe for disaster. They are in the bottom three and could easily be in there at the final reckoning.

It is difficult not to feel sympathy for Lampard, who saw striker Richarlison sold to Tottenham last summer and has had to deal with the added headache of Dominic Calvert-Lewin being consistently injured. 

That awful run culminated in an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat against Brighton on Tuesday

It is also difficult to comprehend how Moshiri cannot see these issues, although too many people around the club seem oblivious that the tide of relegation could wash over Everton this spring and drag them down.

‘I do not fear anything,’ said Lampard, who will have Anthony Gordon available at Old Trafford following illness. ‘In terms of the reality, that 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. The reality is clear. 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.

The players were booed off by the fans and that will not have escaped chairman Bill Kenwright

‘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. You can really enjoy 5,000 people coming before games that helped up us get a victory last year but maybe sometimes you have to show big balls as well to play in difficult moments.’

And this really is a difficult moment. It is not a point, though, where Lampard will sit and wait for the inevitable. If he could, he would help change everything, but as it stands, all he can do is hope his team respond to at least give Moshiri something to think about.

‘I take my responsibility as a manager,’ he said. ‘I have to affect everything I can. It is true that when I came in we had a strategic review for a reason to be better in every department. I would have to be Superman to be in charge of every department, they are not my roles.

‘We know there is a lot of work to be done off the pitch to be better in every way. I don’t know where we will finish in the league — but to get back to where we should be? That will be a process.’

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