Frank Lampard is convinced he’s inherited an Everton squad with the talent and hunger to achieve rapid improvement.
Former England midfielder Lampard, who completed moves for the gifted midfield duo of Dele and Donny van de Beek on his first day in the job on Monday, begins his reign in earnest with an FA Cup fourth-round game against Brentford at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Focus then turns to Tuesday night and a Premier League visit to Newcastle United, a side four points and two places beneath Everton in 18th.
Lampard is quickly gaining an “intimate insight” into the Club and insists his long-term aim is wholly aligned with the "giant desire" of Everton's hierarchy to deliver success to Goodison.
The team’s current position nonetheless demands the temporary parking of thoughts of competing towards the summit – while Lampard and his newly-assembled backroom staff set about injecting energy and confidence into a side the new boss maintains is loaded with potential.
“In the short-term, the job is to improve our league position and we have a squad that can get better quickly," said Lampard, speaking to the media for the first time as Everton manager on Thursday.
“It starts with work on the training ground and the mindset of the group.
“I have seen a talented squad but a group that has had a hit on its confidence, which losing games can do – I have been there [as a player].
“My priority is to achieve an uplift straight away and I have faith in this group.
“I have seen they want to do very well for this football club, it is written all over their faces.
“I hope to give them the direction and organisation, and the ability to express themselves within that, to perform at their best.
“I want to quickly reach the point where you can see my imprint on the team.
“Long-term, Everton is a club with big ambition, huge history, a huge fanbase, and a giant desire throughout to improve towards the new stadium; towards being a Premier League club fighting towards the top of the table.
“There is a lot of work to be done and I am very proud to be at the front of it.”
Lampard will be without Holland international Van de Beek and Dele, captured from Tottenham Hotspur, against Brentford this weekend.
The Cup-tied pair will come into the reckoning for the game at Newcastle, which is followed four days later by a Premier League visit from Leeds United.
Those fixtures, therefore, double up as first opportunities for the new boys to begin proving a point – after Lampard detected both players’ hunger to demonstrate their undoubted ability in the blue of Everton.
On attracting two footballers with their best years in front of them – Dele, 25, signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, while 24-year-old Van de Beek was loaned from Manchester United until the end of the season – Lampard was fulsome in his praise for the influence of the Club’s powerbrokers.
“I had really positive talks with the owner and Chairman and Board from the start,” said Lampard.
“The Chairman, Bill Kenwright, was fantastic in those [transfer] conversations, too.
“I can see why people hold this club in high regard, it is the People’s Club.
“They [Dele and Van de Beek] are both very talented players.
“Sometimes, it’s good to get a player who has a point to prove and they come here with the hunger to show themselves.
“I trust in their talent and trust in them as people.
“My job, along with my staff, is to work them and support them, so they can show the talent and natural ability we know they have.
“We have to harness that and join it with the talent already in the squad."
An essential element of generating a prompt upturn, insists Lampard, is ensuring a prevailing atmosphere of positivity at the Club.
The remainder of the campaign, he says, “will be defined by the work and focus on the training ground and how we can unite as players and fans and as a club".
“The fans have such a huge input into performance,” continued Lampard, "particularly at Goodison.
“All I have to think about now is bringing all that together.”
On his broader remit, Lampard, whose deal runs until at least summer 2024, added: “I know Everton FC from the outside and now know it intimately from the inside.
“The size of the Club and the job and the ambition were clear to me.
“I want to get better and make the players better and make this club better.
“We want to improve every day and play a brand of football our fans enjoy watching and, most importantly, get results.
“I can assure the fans, I will give this job absolutely everything.”