Iwobi 'Flourishing' Under Lampard Guidance

In a Q&A to preview Everton’s trip to Leeds United on Tuesday, Alex Iwobi discusses how the squad are ready for another “crazy” encounter at Elland Road, how he is flourishing in a new role in the centre of midfield, the squad’s progress under the guidance of Frank Lampard, and the positive impact Evertonians have had on him in recent months…

Alex, Leeds United on Tuesday. They’ve started really well, what have you made of them so far this season?

Leeds have always been a really energetic, good team.

When we get the chance to play them, we know it’s not going to be easy.

They have some of the craziest fans in the Premier League so it’s going to be an intense atmosphere.

It’s another away game and following our away form last season, we feel it’s something we need to work to improve on.

It’s a great test for us and we’re looking forward to it.

It was a lively game when we travelled there at the beginning of last season. Are you expecting a similar encounter this time round?

It’s always a crazy game at Elland Road. Especially now that we have the fans back.

We drew 2-2 there last season, so hopefully we can walk away with more than a point this time round.

You’ve recently taken on a new position in the centre of midfield. How are you finding it?

I’m enjoying it.

With the centre backs we’ve got, they help me a lot. They’re always vocal, telling me what positions to take up and it’s something we work on a lot in training.

I feel like I’m improving and flourishing in that role.

You’ve virtually played every position in the pitch it seems! You must have to be adaptable in this day and age?

It’s something that’s helped me over the course of my career.

As a kid, I was always challenged in different positions, and I was able to do okay.

It’s not particularly new for me to play in midfield – that’s where I play usually for my national team – so I’m enjoying my time there.

Having someone like Frank Lampard to coach you in that role must help a lot?

Of course. He’s a legend in the Premier League playing in midfield.

I’m trying to add goals to my game like he did, but he’s always talking to me and the other midfielders in the team on what we can improve on.

Some new arrivals this season, how are they all settling in?

Conor [Coady] is very vocal. He’s like a captain to have alongside Seamus [Coleman]. He’s always talking and helping us.

Amadou [Onana] has settled in now. He’s a big personality and he’s great with the ball.

Dwight McNeil, we knew how good he was when he was playing in the Premier League with Burnley.

Quality players and more headache for the manager to try and get everyone in the team, but they’re good additions to the squad.

How far away are we from really making it click?

We’re almost there.

We’re creating opportunities to get goals in attack, but we just need to continue to work on that.

Defensively we feel like we are sound. Obviously, we do concede a few goals here and there, but I think that’s bound to happen. Sometimes you can’t defend for 90 minutes, but we try.

Getting the goals is what we’re trying to work on but it’s definitely going to come.

How would you assess your time at Everton so far?

It wasn’t an easy ride to begin with moving from London to up here.

I did have difficult spells but the main thing for me is remaining consistent, which I’m doing now.

Something I’ve learnt is that as long as you give 100 per cent here, the fans will always have your back.

I just need to make sure that continues. The fans recently have been great to me.

Do you see Everton rising up the table very quickly?

Yes, of course.

The performances are there. We just have to get the results to match.

We believe that we will, and the points will come.