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'Proud' Lampard Says Blues Will Improve

Manager speaks to evertontv following 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Frank Lampard declared himself proud of his side's battling performance in the 1-1 draw with Leeds United , while vowing "we will get better”.

Anthony Gordon's cooly-taken strike gave the Blues a deserved lead at Elland Road, before Luis Sinisterra’s 20-yard strike 10 minutes into the second period ultimately earned the hosts a share of the spoils.

The Toffees, who are now four games unbeaten in all competitions but still chasing a first Premier League victory of the campaign, had chances to snatch all three points in the second half with a Demarai Gray goal ruled out for a marginal offside, as well as chances for Amadou Onana and Nathan Patterson.

Read more from the manager on the game’s key talking points below.

On battling spirit of his side at Elland Road...

For sure. Their discipline, their battle, their work-rate... They're a running team here at Leeds, they put pressure on the game and try to play through you and win the ball back. A lot of energy is required to match that. I thought we did it brilliantly and negated a lot of clear chances for them. Their goal is a half chance that goes in and then we have some really good moments in the games as well, so I'm really pleased with the spirit because it's not an easy place to come here. I thought we played very well.

On how the switch to 4-3-3 worked out...

I'm pleased because when you have three days between games and you want to make a formation switch, you have to give the lads a lot of information. You try to simplify as much as you can because that's the best way of getting it across. But we, I felt, needed an extra body in midfield. We wanted to get pressure on the ball and not allow them to control the game so much and with the injury we had to Mason, maybe that made it a little bit clearer but I think it's something we have to look at because it sometimes gets another player in midfield and further up the pitch. I was pleased with the way the players used that on and off the ball and we’ll get better at that as well. I’m pleased with the way they took the information on board and it’s good to be versatile. From where we were — we played three, well, more of a five at the back and it got us to stay in the Premier League. Now we want to move forward, so we’ll keep looking at that and having the versatility within the group is a good thing for us.

On Conor Coady’s excellent performance in a back four…

Absolutely [he proved he’s more than capable of playing in a back four]. Conor is a top player. People probably say [about him only playing in a back three] casually, maybe lazily, because he played in a really good back three and was very, very good in it for a long time at Wolves. He’s played in a back four for England. What reason can he not play in a back four? Conor is a player of the level where he is a huge effect on the team in all senses. He just played very well and it was good to see.

On the importance of characters like Coady and Tarkowski on battling nights…

Massive. They’re massive because you need leaders, you need voices, you need people who can bring the messages from the daily meetings out on the pitch. They’re brilliant in the dressing room and they affect others. It’s a really important trait when you bring in players and they bring that. I have to say Onana is similar — he’s very young but he has this energy about him that affects others around him. I’m really pleased with that side of it and maybe that’s part of the point. Could we have lost this game last year for different reasons? Now the group are working in a good direction. We haven’t got a win yet and I think we deserved more points — we could be sitting on five, six seven points. We’re not but we have to understand it’s a long season and when we’re getting better like we are, that gives me a good feeling.

On Onana playing as a number six and quickly adapting to the physicality of English football…

He’s a young player. We worked really hard to get him here because he was a wanted boy. I know what he can do. I saw him before he came here and now since he’s been with us. He can do the deeper role and some of his attributes are great for it — defensively, his size, physicality. You need that sometimes in a game like today. He can also do the higher role and bring a lot of energy. For Amadou to come into this league as a young man and show what he’s shown in these past two Premier League games, it’s great. His energy was more [tonight]. He had to come off at Brentford because he was tiring and now there was another step tonight in him getting through 90 minutes. He’s a huge player for us and I already love working with him. 

On missing the finishing touch…

Leeds tonight had three strikers — one started and got injured, so they brought on another, then they changed it again in the second half. We know we’re missing Dom and we’ve just brought Neal in, but the boys who are playing up there are giving everything in terms of effort, mobility and the attributes that they can bring. But the reality is that they’re all wingers or number 10s, at the moment. Having Dom back soon and Neal available will really help us, but I’m really pleased with the effort that the lads are putting in, considering that’s the start that we’ve had. The [Demarai Gray goal that was ruled out for] offside was a tiny one, a knee or whatever it was that crept across the line — on another day that goes our way. Then, the chance for Patterson. It was a brilliant move and great from Pats to be in the box at that point, on another day that flies through into the bottom corner. Those little bits haven’t been going for us but we have to keep working. 

On the reception for himself and the players from the travelling Evertonians after the final whistle…

The fans have been amazing for me from day one. What they did for us as staff and as a group to get us over the line last season — I’ve spoken about it a lot. They travel brilliantly. They did tonight, just like they did at Brentford the other day. All I want to do is give back to them and give them a team that shows the spirit, determination and discipline that we showed today — they react to that always. Then, can we get better? Can we get on the ball more? Can we be a bit braver through the lines and play a bit more? That takes a little bit of time but I think there’s an understanding of that and, in the meantime, as long as the fans see passion, desire, a fight for the badge and an appreciation of being an Everton player and loving it… You can see that in Onana, it’s coming out of his bones already and also players like Conor and Tarky, and I don’t want to discredit any of the lads who have been here for a long time as well. I know them and, as I said last year, they are good lads who want to fight for this Club. We’ll get better, but a big thanks to the fans because they come and travel like that, they’re loud and they support us. It’s a great feeling when you see what this game means to people and what Everton means to Evertonians.

WATCH VIDEO 06:08 Tue 30 Aug 2022
WATCH VIDEO

'Proud' Lampard Says Blues Will Improve

Frank Lampard declared himself proud of his side's battling performance in the 1-1 draw with Leeds United , while vowing "we will get better”.

Anthony Gordon's cooly-taken strike gave the Blues a deserved lead at Elland Road, before Luis Sinisterra’s 20-yard strike 10 minutes into the second period ultimately earned the hosts a share of the spoils.

The Toffees, who are now four games unbeaten in all competitions but still chasing a first Premier League victory of the campaign, had chances to snatch all three points in the second half with a Demarai Gray goal ruled out for a marginal offside, as well as chances for Amadou Onana and Nathan Patterson.

Read more from the manager on the game’s key talking points below.

On battling spirit of his side at Elland Road...

For sure. Their discipline, their battle, their work-rate... They're a running team here at Leeds, they put pressure on the game and try to play through you and win the ball back. A lot of energy is required to match that. I thought we did it brilliantly and negated a lot of clear chances for them. Their goal is a half chance that goes in and then we have some really good moments in the games as well, so I'm really pleased with the spirit because it's not an easy place to come here. I thought we played very well.

On how the switch to 4-3-3 worked out...

I'm pleased because when you have three days between games and you want to make a formation switch, you have to give the lads a lot of information. You try to simplify as much as you can because that's the best way of getting it across. But we, I felt, needed an extra body in midfield. We wanted to get pressure on the ball and not allow them to control the game so much and with the injury we had to Mason, maybe that made it a little bit clearer but I think it's something we have to look at because it sometimes gets another player in midfield and further up the pitch. I was pleased with the way the players used that on and off the ball and we’ll get better at that as well. I’m pleased with the way they took the information on board and it’s good to be versatile. From where we were — we played three, well, more of a five at the back and it got us to stay in the Premier League. Now we want to move forward, so we’ll keep looking at that and having the versatility within the group is a good thing for us.

On Conor Coady’s excellent performance in a back four…

Absolutely [he proved he’s more than capable of playing in a back four]. Conor is a top player. People probably say [about him only playing in a back three] casually, maybe lazily, because he played in a really good back three and was very, very good in it for a long time at Wolves. He’s played in a back four for England. What reason can he not play in a back four? Conor is a player of the level where he is a huge effect on the team in all senses. He just played very well and it was good to see.

On the importance of characters like Coady and Tarkowski on battling nights…

Massive. They’re massive because you need leaders, you need voices, you need people who can bring the messages from the daily meetings out on the pitch. They’re brilliant in the dressing room and they affect others. It’s a really important trait when you bring in players and they bring that. I have to say Onana is similar — he’s very young but he has this energy about him that affects others around him. I’m really pleased with that side of it and maybe that’s part of the point. Could we have lost this game last year for different reasons? Now the group are working in a good direction. We haven’t got a win yet and I think we deserved more points — we could be sitting on five, six seven points. We’re not but we have to understand it’s a long season and when we’re getting better like we are, that gives me a good feeling.

On Onana playing as a number six and quickly adapting to the physicality of English football…

He’s a young player. We worked really hard to get him here because he was a wanted boy. I know what he can do. I saw him before he came here and now since he’s been with us. He can do the deeper role and some of his attributes are great for it — defensively, his size, physicality. You need that sometimes in a game like today. He can also do the higher role and bring a lot of energy. For Amadou to come into this league as a young man and show what he’s shown in these past two Premier League games, it’s great. His energy was more [tonight]. He had to come off at Brentford because he was tiring and now there was another step tonight in him getting through 90 minutes. He’s a huge player for us and I already love working with him. 

On missing the finishing touch…

Leeds tonight had three strikers — one started and got injured, so they brought on another, then they changed it again in the second half. We know we’re missing Dom and we’ve just brought Neal in, but the boys who are playing up there are giving everything in terms of effort, mobility and the attributes that they can bring. But the reality is that they’re all wingers or number 10s, at the moment. Having Dom back soon and Neal available will really help us, but I’m really pleased with the effort that the lads are putting in, considering that’s the start that we’ve had. The [Demarai Gray goal that was ruled out for] offside was a tiny one, a knee or whatever it was that crept across the line — on another day that goes our way. Then, the chance for Patterson. It was a brilliant move and great from Pats to be in the box at that point, on another day that flies through into the bottom corner. Those little bits haven’t been going for us but we have to keep working. 

On the reception for himself and the players from the travelling Evertonians after the final whistle…

The fans have been amazing for me from day one. What they did for us as staff and as a group to get us over the line last season — I’ve spoken about it a lot. They travel brilliantly. They did tonight, just like they did at Brentford the other day. All I want to do is give back to them and give them a team that shows the spirit, determination and discipline that we showed today — they react to that always. Then, can we get better? Can we get on the ball more? Can we be a bit braver through the lines and play a bit more? That takes a little bit of time but I think there’s an understanding of that and, in the meantime, as long as the fans see passion, desire, a fight for the badge and an appreciation of being an Everton player and loving it… You can see that in Onana, it’s coming out of his bones already and also players like Conor and Tarky, and I don’t want to discredit any of the lads who have been here for a long time as well. I know them and, as I said last year, they are good lads who want to fight for this Club. We’ll get better, but a big thanks to the fans because they come and travel like that, they’re loud and they support us. It’s a great feeling when you see what this game means to people and what Everton means to Evertonians.