Lampard On 'Step Forward' For Everton

Frank Lampard saluted a 'nice step forward' after Everton's 4-2 pre-season friendly victory against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Sunday.

The Blues boss also praised Dele following his first goals for the Club, as well as full-backs Vitalii Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson, and 'amazing' Evertonians for another vocal, strong turnout on the road.

Here is every one from Lampard's post-match interview to evertontv...

Frank, was that a result and performance that we needed?

Yes, off the back of the results in America. Pre-season is a tough one, you can feel like you can work really hard and well on the training pitch but it doesn’t always come together in games, particularly games when other teams are ahead of you – Arsenal and Minnesota were fitness-wise.

It’s no excuse. The Minnesota game, particularly, we didn’t like and I wanted a reaction. We got it, in performance, for sure, and the result and it’s a nice step forward. There’s a lot to do but the season is starting very quickly so I was happy with a lot of things but there is room for a lot of improvement still.

Nice for Dele to get two goals?

Really nice. Pre-season gives me a chance to give him games. I know he didn’t get the chance to get as many as he would want [last season]. You have to earn the right, and you have to earn it with your performance, and I think the goals were great for his confidence.

He’s the same as I tell all of the team – there’s improvement for every individual and us collectively, but it’s great for him to get those goals because it’s something he’s had as a talent and a skill in his career. If he keeps working, as he has that natural talent, those things come off.

The goals were him being in the right place, at the right time…

We are used to seeing him do that, and he did so well when he broke through at Tottenham, and if we are going to get the best out of him we want to keep that attribute because that’s something special, to be scoring those kind of goals – there’s a real art to that – but also his all-round game helping the team.

I thought he worked hard today. As I said for everyone, there’s room for improvement but I liked the attitude, the feeling of the players today. The fans turned out in big numbers so I wanted the players to react for them and I was pleased with the afternoon.

Given the formation, how pleased are you that the full-backs both provided assists?

They have to. If we are going to play the way we did today and want to be offensive as well, because from the outset if can feel like a defensive shape, I think it makes us more solid at times, but we also have to have an offensive angle and the wing-backs are huge in that.

I thought Myko and Pats, their starting positions and runs were good and we hit them with some nice passes and lots of elements of our patterns of play were better today than they have been so far in pre-season so we have to keep working on that.

Tougher test in the second half?

Yes, I expected that. We made a couple of high-level changes, Keano and Mase coming on, but it’s a change, and you expect a bit of uplift from them [Blackpool] because we had so much control in the first half that they were obviously going to come out with a bit more to them. They then score but I was pleased with our reaction against that.

These games will test you in some way, shape or form against Championship teams that are ready to start their season next week. That little test is a good thing for us and it shows you areas we can be better at.

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Midfielder nets twice in 4-2 pre-season friendly victory at Blackpool.

Learning more about your players with every game that passes?

Yes. Probably for me, I came in at a time when there was a lot of stress and tension and that didn’t go anywhere for the whole of last season until the end of the Palace game!

With that in mind, we’ve now got a version of a clean slate and the players need to show their qualities so, yes, I’m learning every training session in terms of the mentality of the players, their quality and the biggest thing for us this season is that we stick together and push to become an Everton team that has real heart and passion because that’s the base of everything. We need to keep working on that.

No Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Demarai Gray. Anything to be concerned about?

You’re concerned because you want them on the pitch but they are small issues that we’re not worth risking today. We travelled back from America on a long overnight flight after Minnesota. Then the lads needed a bit of time off and came back so where they’ve got small issues it wasn’t worth risking them. Hopefully, they’ll be fit to train in the middle of the week and we’ll play it from there.

Fantastic turnout by the travelling fans again today?

Amazing. I’ve had that since I’ve been at the Club. I feel fortunate to be part of this club and proud to manage. The way they turned out and help get us over the line last season, the way they turn up here and are so vocal all the time, it just shows what they can give us.

From living it and being in it, I know how strong it is when we are all together and that’s something that we really appreciate as players, staff and Club. Of course, we need to keep pushing in the right direction, make good decisions as a club, perform on the football pitch.

When we’re together, and you feel that from the fans, it makes it a special place. We’ll keep trying to do our side of the bargain and keep improving as a group. But, yes, the fanbase is incredible.

Frank Lampard
From living it and being in it, I know how strong it is when we are all together and that’s something that we really appreciate as players, staff and Club.