Boss Wants Team To Match Evertonians' Passion

Frank Lampard wants “11 Evertonians on the pitch” for what the manager insists has the potential to unfold into a historic night when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park on Thursday.

Everton's form over the past six weeks resulted in a climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three.

There remain innumerable permutations that could ultimately relegate any of Leeds United, Burnley or Everton.

The most pertinent equation for Lampard’s team, however, is very simple indeed.

If Everton beat Crystal Palace, the Club will extend its English top-flight stay into a 69th year.

And it is anticipated their cause will be aided, once more, by a thunderous atmosphere outside and inside Goodison. 

Lampard is urging his team to embrace the weight of the fixture – a case of playing the game and the occasion – while retaining control and composure on the field.

“I am sure the supporters will be coming with everything, maybe even a bit more than they have in the past few weeks,” said Lampard, who is well-acquainted with high-stakes fixtures as a 100-plus-cap England international and Premier League and Champions League winner.

“We really appreciate that and it is such a big push for us... and we will try to make it a special night at Goodison.

“Historically, it could be a big night for us, because we know the situation.

“The players have to turn up and play with the same passion and fight as every Evertonian in the stadium.

“We need 11 Evertonians on the pitch – and [Evertonians as] subs.

“The players have to understand the occasion and tap into it. It is not the fifth game of the season, when you are trying to get yourself going.

“It is critical. We need to use that and the fact there is pressure on us, in a good way.

“The fanbase is backing us. [Use that support and] play with control on top of that.

“That is the balance.

“We are playing a game we love, and that means we are up for big pressure moments.

"It could be the same feeling after this game, as if we win something special down the line.

“I’ve had opportunities to win Champions League finals, Premier Leagues, play-off semi-finals [as Derby County manager].

Frank Lampard
The players have to turn up and play with the same passion and fight as every Evertonian in the stadium. We need 11 Evertonians on the pitch.

“You can’t say one feeling is better than another.

"When you can achieve something, it is a moment, you have to try to get it."

In terms of the footballing challenge, Lampard is readying his side to encounter an expressive Crystal Palace, high on confidence and motivation.

The South London team are unbeaten in four Premier League matches – they have lost only twice in 11 – and stand to leap four places into ninth with victory in L4.

Everton are in good nick themselves, however, with 11 points from seven fixtures.

That tally would likely be greater but for an unfortunate sequence of events when Everton led Brentford 1-0 at the weekend.

Lampard, speaking in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, insisted it was time to draw a line under any feelings of injustice around that match.

But he is at pains to not forget the game altogether, due to Everton’s cohesive performance and the scoring return of talisman striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

“The decisions are gone,” said Lampard, addressing an issue that has plagued Everton over recent months.

“It means we have fewer points than I think we deserve.

“That is the reality and means we go into the final two games needing a couple of points for safety.

“The mood is determined and focused, I think you saw that against Brentford: in the opening 17 minutes [prior to a sending off for defender Jarrad Branthwaite], it felt the game was going in only one direction, because we were so on our game.

“After that, the work ethic and spirt in the team to try to go ahead again and get a result was something we can be proud of – in terms of our approach against Palace, we have to replicate that.

“It is great having Dominic back, particularly with his performance against Brentford... he was very powerful and fit looking.

“It is nice to get confidence from goals as a striker, no matter how they come."