Frank Lampard knows he is facing a big challenge at Everton but believes he can turn their fortunes around.
Lampard, who was dismissed by Chelsea just over a year ago, was appointed as Everton’s manager on Monday.
The Toffees parted ways with Rafael Benitez in January, after an ill-fated 200-day spell in charge for the former Liverpool boss, who won just one of his last 13 league games.
Indeed, Everton earned just 19 points in 19 Premier League matches under the Spaniard, their lowest tally at the halfway stage of a season since 2005-06.
A 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, under the temporary stewardship of Duncan Ferguson, saw Everton drop to 16th in the Premier League, four points above the relegation zone.
Lampard is under no illusions as to the scale of the task at hand, and recalled a phrase coined by David Moyes, who dubbed Everton “the people’s club” back in 2002.
“In footballing terms, we’re in a position that the club doesn’t want to be in,” Lampard told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Brentford.
“I have been very impressed with the players, but the next steps are the results.”
— Everton (@Everton) February 3, 2022
“I’ve got a lot of belief in the squad, I’ve been watching their games closely from the outside, so I’m under no illusions. I feel that we have a squad that can improve quickly. It starts with work on the training ground, with the mindset of the group.
“I understand that in the short term the job is to improve our league position. In the long term, it’s clear that it’s a club with huge ambition, history, a huge fan base and a joint desire to improve towards the new stadium.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m very proud to be given this opportunity.
“I’ve had really positive conversations with the owner, the board and the club in general from the first moment we started to speak.
“Bill Kenwright was fantastic in those conversations as well, and I can see why people hold this club in such regard, because it’s the people’s club.”
After hosting Brentford, Everton face two huge games in quick succession, taking on Newcastle United away and Leeds United at home next week.
Lampard is thrilled at the support he has received so far from Everton’s fanbase, but knows results have to pick up.
“I don’t expect universal support, but I hope that people will see how I have a work ethic and how I’m going to embrace this job in terms of everything I do,” he said.
“I think if they see a reaction on the pitch, which is my job, then I hope that support will continue. We’ll be defined this season by the work we put in on the training ground and how we can be united between players, club and fans.
“There’s 18 games to play. Nobody is happy with the run we’ve been on, but I have to bring an element of calm to the players and club and look at ourselves and say there’s huge amounts of talent. If I didn’t believe in that, I wouldn’t be here.”
Lampard, whose win percentage with Chelsea in the Premier League was 52.4 per cent, better than any Everton manager has achieved in the competition, was also asked what lessons he has learned from his spell in charge at Stamford Bridge being cut short.
“At Chelsea in reflection I had a really enjoyable 17 months,” he said.
“You look at the small details, could you have done this and that better, so hopefully I can bring those experiences of my career so far. I want to get better, and make the players better and this club better, and that’s all I have to look for. Rather than looking back, look forward at what I can do here.”