Clement Reveals Blues' Pre-Season Plan

First-Team Coach Paul Clement says he and the rest of Everton's backroom staff are relishing the prospect of their first pre-season at the Club.

The Blues will return to Finch Farm at the beginning of July before jetting off to America for a training camp and fixtures against Arsenal in Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium and Minnesota United at their home, Allianz Field.

Frank Lampard quickly confirmed his supporting staff - including Clement - after taking the managerial reins on 31 January and successfully guided Everton to safety, following a turbulent run that included a run of one win in 14 matches before he arrived.

In the closing stages of the 2021/22 campaign, Everton adopted a more pragmatic style of play, however Clement says work can now begin on developing a clear identity and playing style for the future.

“We’ve got a week at the training ground then we’re heading out to America - and we're looking forward to that trip," he said.

“We really want a good pre-season, we went in in the middle of the season fighting fire, you don’t get to train how you want, implement ideas like you want, it was all about results as soon as possible. 

"This [pre-season] will give us a little bit more time to instil the ideas the manager wants and we’ve got to improve in lots of areas. 

"We’ve got five weeks to try and start that process."

Last month, Everton secured their Premier League status for next term with an unforgettable 3-2 home victory over Crystal Palace, having trailed 2-0 at half-time.

Reflecting on that dramatic match under the Goodison Park lights and the jubilant scenes afterwards, Clement says it is a night he will never forget.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” he continued. “I think it was about four home games out that they started the pre-match welcome for the players and there were more great scenes on the streets around Goodison Park in the build-up to that [Crystal Palace] game.

"They managed to not only sustain it but also drive it even bigger and bigger to the point where when we were arriving it was like hairs on the back of your next standing up... It was incredible. 

"The part the fans played in us staying up was absolutely immense. 

"The scenes after the Crystal Palace result were just incredible. It was a wonderful evening that was very special.

“It was an amazing end to the season, I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. 

"It wasn’t easy, it was a tough ride I’ve got to say.

"In the four months we were there we had everything thrown at us from problems with injuries, tough runs of games, poor spells, issues with VAR that went against us but in the end we managed to get over the line. 

"We all hoped we would’ve done it earlier but it just never seems to work like that in football. 

"We were pushed to the end."

Clement also reserves praise for the Everton's players for delivering in the extreme pressure environment of a Premier League relegation battle.

“I repeat that the fans were absolutely incredible but the players, when it came down to it, it's them on the field that has to deal with that pressure in high pressure situations and they did manage to deliver at the end," he added.

“The feeling 2-0 down at half-time to Crystal Palace at home when you’re thinking, ‘Cor, we’ve got to go to Arsenal next game’ and now you might be thinking we have to rely on other results. 

"To turn that around in 45 minutes and score three goals with Calvert-Lewin’s header coming late, the stadium erupted. 

"I’ve never experienced an atmosphere quite like it and I’ve experienced some quite good ones!”