Lampard's Programme Notes For West Ham Clash

Good afternoon.

Today’s match is an important opportunity for us to build on a positive Merseyside derby performance last time out and go into the international break on a high.

I’m encouraged by the way the team is developing and I’m confident we will continue to get better.

The new signings are settling in well and are showing the personality and ability which made us so keen to bring them to the Club. They will only improve and I’m seeing a real spirit and togetherness every day at Finch Farm.

There’s no doubt that our performances this season have deserved more points than we currently have on the board but there is a collective determination within the squad to be successful, to fight for one another, and to deliver for Evertonians. Those factors – combined with the quality in depth we now have – will give us a platform to transform good performances into victories.

The Liverpool match was extremely intense. It was my first experience of a Merseyside derby at Goodison and the atmosphere was incredible.

From the coach welcome to the vocal backing during the game and the sustained ovation for the players’ efforts at the final whistle, your support was immense.

It is what I have come to expect since I joined, but I remain in awe of the passion and dedication Evertonians show for our great club.

The fans’ warm acclaim at the end of the derby reflected what the team put into the game.

We wanted to be aggressive in our approach, in terms of how we worked off the ball, and when we were in possession, to be dynamic and create chances to score.

The lads’ work-ethic was superb and they executed our game plan. On another day, we could have won the game, but standing toe-to-toe with a team of Liverpool’s quality shows we’re going in the right way.

Neal Maupay made his Everton debut and he did very well. He worked exceptionally hard and his movement was terrific. He gives us a different dimension in attack and, if he keeps playing like that, he’ll score plenty of goals for us.

Idrissa Gana Gueye immediately displayed the experience and quality he will give us in his substitute appearance. He’s fitted in like he’s never been away and will be a big player for us.

I must also mention James Garner, who wasn’t quite ready to play against Liverpool, but in training has shown what a talented young player he is. He’s got excellent technical attributes, a very good understanding of the game and, importantly, a strong desire to learn and improve.

We welcome David Moyes and the staff and players of West Ham United, a club I have a long connection with and respect for after my early footballing years in their academy and as a schoolboy.

Evertonians know more than most what an excellent manager David is and the high esteem he is held in at the Club and with our fans after 11 years here in charge.

David is a manager I have a lot of admiration for and he has shaped a very strong, powerful West Ham side with many skilful attacking players. Our defensive structure has been strong in recent games and we will need to retain that today, while showing energy, creativity and ruthlessness in attack.

It will be a challenge for us but one we are excited about. I believe we are ready to take the next step, which is to convert our positive displays into wins.

Ahead of today’s match we will pay our respects to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II following her sad passing.

As this country’s longest-serving monarch of 70 years, she led the nation with great honour, dignity and respect.

The outpouring of emotion throughout the world over the past 10 days illustrates the immeasurable esteem in which she was held. As someone who has had the honour of meeting King Charles III and Prince William, my thoughts are with them and the Royal Family at this time as we honour the Queen’s magnificent service and dedication.