Frank Lampard says Everton were punished for “bad mistakes” in Monday’s 5-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur but insists he retains “absolute” confidence his team can recover from the blow and turn their form around.
Next up for Everton is a clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park on Sunday before the Blues host Newcastle United four days later.
Everton have won three of their four home matches since Lampard’s appointment but the Blues boss said his team cannot simply believe, “just because we’re at Goodison we’ll be fine”.
Lampard is demanding a significant improvement in performance levels following a hugely disappointing night against Spurs in north London.
He said: “There were individual moments of bad mistakes, bad defending. At 2-0 or 3-0, it is horrible for any team to try to get back into a game because the momentum has completely gone.
“We started alright and we controlled a bit of possession, as you can here. We had spoken about their counter-attack, which is a big strength for Tottenham. They play very compact and counter-attack with speed with very good players.
“We have to think in the bigger picture. There are 13 games to go for us, with eight of those at home. Teams are around us are having difficulties, and that’s where we’re at.”
Asked about his belief Everton can improve their results, he added: “I’m absolutely confident. That’s why I’m here. I wouldn’t have taken on the job otherwise.
“When I came in, the feeling was, ‘We could be going down here’. That was the feeling in the Club and the city. It was up to me to change that.
“Tonight is a test of that. It doesn’t give me any fear about what’s coming ahead. I actually can’t wait for the two games at Goodison [against Wolves and Newcastle].
“They will be two really tough matches. I’ll be ready for them and the players will have to be ready for them.
“It’s about training hard, preparing for the game and going out and showing absolute application – sticking your foot in when you need to and getting the basics right – and we’ll be alright.”
Lampard says sustaining the unity and a strong team spirit he has witnessed during his first weeks in the job will be key to Everton delivering a swift response to the Spurs defeat – and achieving a greater level of consistency in future.
“I had 20 years as a player and had plenty of [difficult] periods like this," he said. "It’s important you stick together, work hard and deal with the things that are not quite right.
“We played against the best team in the country last week in Manchester City – and everyone saw that when they played against Man United on Sunday – and we made it really difficult for them, creating things, and we should have got a result out of the game. Then we come here [to Spurs] and do that.
“That’s what I don’t like, the up and down nature of the performances, and we need to put that right.
“There maybe is a mental side to it – but there’s a football side to it. And if you give away goals and put yourself 2-0 down within 20 minutes against Tottenham, then that mental side will come in very quickly.
“The football always starts it, if you’re not good enough to deal with certain situations.
“I’ve got no problem with the challenge because I knew exactly what it was when I came here. We have had some really good performances and the general feeling around the Club has been very good.
“We can’t lose that now. It will be hard because people will throw some stuff at us for a one-off game, but what we’re doing at Goodison and the feeling of fans there has been a big deal. We will need that going forward.”
On a challenging night at Tottenham, Academy graduate Anthony Gordon still provided moments of genuine quality and worked relentlessly until the final whistle for his team.
Lampard added: “The important thing is that the positivity stays [within the Club]. Not stupid positivity, there are no positives tonight, apart from Anthony Gordon, and a couple of performances of credit in terms of people who didn’t give up. That should be the bare minimum and I will demand that.”