Frank Lampard says his Everton team retaining belief in their quality and style of football holds the key to emerging from “bad periods” during matches – and declared his confidence the Blues can step up to the occasion at Goodison Park once more this weekend against Manchester City.
Lampard’s first two home games in charge of Everton resulted in stirring victories over Brentford and Leeds United.
Both wins have been followed by defeats on the road, however, and the Blues manager has called on his side to show a greater level of consistency.
Lampard says his players, so far, have not delivered the required response to suffering setbacks in games and explained the mentality shift needed to overcome this issue.
He told evertontv: “It’s about belief – and the players need to feel that themselves.
“There will be times you’re up against it and, as a group, we need to feel belief.
“It’s not a slant on the group because, when you’ve been losing games, it’s tough to turn that corner as a bad period in a game can remind them of those matches.
“It’s very easy to seep back into the ways of playing the ball longer and the team getting stretched.
“They are the things we [the new coaching team] addressed very quickly when we came in here and, in difficult moments, we’ve seen them come back.
“There is no magic wand to change things instantly and you need to work and focus every day. You’re only as good as how you work and prepare. Until this point, I think we’ve got that right.
“But a game like we’ve had against Southampton is a reminder of why we’re in the position we’re in.”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin completed 90 minutes of Everton’s clash at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday and says he is steadily “feeling stronger and more confident in my body” following a four-month injury layoff.
Lampard is convinced the Toffees’ number nine will continue to improve as he regains optimum fitness.
“It’s not easy for him with the time he’s had out,” he said.
“He did some very good bits against Southampton but I don’t want him to be an old-school centre-forward receiving balls from 70 or 80 yards – that’s an option but it’s not the way we play. We need better service around him then he’ll do the damage he can do.
“I have no problems with him, because he’ll get fit and he’ll get better”
Lampard’s attention is now on a return to Goodison and a meeting with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
The Blues boss says his players must embrace the challenge of facing a team he regards as “possibly the best in the world”.
“I’ll do everything I can to get a reaction [from the Southampton defeat],” Lampard said.
“The squad are a good bunch and they want to do the right things. We’ve seen that in two of the performances since I’ve been here.
“I’m confident. We’ll work hard during the week. We’re playing the best team in the league – possibly the best team in the world – but we have to use that as a carrot for us to bring them to Goodison and give them a real proper game.”