Frank Lampard says Everton fell a long way short of the standards expected in Saturday’s defeat at Southampton – and the manager admits his team urgently need to learn to replicate their Goodison Park form away from home.
Everton began brightly on the south coast but didn’t capitalise on their initial superiority, opening the door for the hosts to grow into the contest and progressively gain control.
Southampton opened the scoring when Stuart Armstrong bent in a low shot seven minutes after half-time. Substitute Shane Long settled the outcome with an 84th-minute header.
Everton have won both home games under Lampard – an FA Cup tie with Brentford and last week’s success against Leeds United – but the defeat by Southampton adds to similar disappointment at Newcastle United 11 days ago.
“We started really well, created a few chances and might have had a penalty,” said Lampard. “But we didn’t score, got a bit sloppy and turned over the ball, which is what Southampton wait for – they are a counter-pressing team.
“I was really disappointed with the second half.
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“We’ve felt an uplift in the team since I have been here but it’s not good enough to be good at Goodison and not good away from home.
“When the game turned on us, the players didn’t show enough to get back in it.
“That is my biggest disappointment and has to be addressed.
“It will take time, there is not a magic wand from the position when we came, to say, now we are resilient and can play through pressure all the time.
“There are issues I saw clearly today that we have to work on.”
Everton had their first penalty shout after two minutes when Anthony Gordon went over following a nudge from Southampton right-back Tino Livramento.
Andy Madley, the referee, didn’t see enough in the incident to point to the spot. And he ignored Everton appeals again two minutes later when Seamus Coleman’s cross struck Oriol Romeu on the hand.
Southampton weathered the initial storm and had opportunities of their own,Jordan Pickford making excellent stops from Livramento, Armando Broja and a James Ward-Prowse free-kick.
Lampard replaced Allan at half-time, Andre Gomes replacing the Brazilian, who was skating on thin ice following a 15th-minute booking.
Armstrong’s goal was the catalyst for a burst of Southampton pressure, which culminated with Irishman Long’s decisive strike.
“I had to take off Allan because he’d had the yellow card and a couple of fouls, it was a game with a lot of turnovers in midfield for both sides and fouls could easily come,” said Lampard.
“It was a match-up [in systems] in a sense, two similar formations. Then it comes down to duels, running past your man and being better than your opponent.
“We weren’t that in enough positions, far from it, apart from in the first 20 minutes and early part of the second half, which is not enough.
“Southampton are playing well and we are not playing well away from home, which is a long-standing story.
“I have been very nice since coming here, trying to inject confidence, but there is not a nice answer to some of the stuff in the second half and we will have to deal with that.”
Lampard was especially irritated that Fraser Forster in Southampton’s goal didn’t have to make one save.
Everton had nine attempts but directed none on target.
“In both home games [Brentford and Leeds] we’ve been testing the keeper all over the place,” added Lampard.
“What is that? Do we need our 40,000 fans, that incredible support at home?
“It is great when we are at home but when we go away we have to find another way.
“That isn’t an overnight change – Southampton have been together for four years [under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl] and had their own difficult periods. It takes time from coaching point of view.
“But in terms of results, we haven’t got that much time, so we have to find ways.
“There is a long way to go, we have games on our side and we must stay in the Premier League.
“But there in no point in me and the players looking at the bigger picture, rather than addressing what is right in front of us."