Lampard's Message After City Draw

Frank, your reaction to a 1-1 draw at the home of the defending champions and a display full of character?

Yes, I’m very happy.

We deserved a point, purely on our character, discipline and the way we wanted to play.

In terms of football, of course they dominate a lot and another day you can lose here in any game because of their quality.

From our point of view, what the players showed in terms of spirit, togetherness, fight and quality at times. Defending is a skill and an art in itself and we saw some real individual moments within a really good structure.

So I’m delighted. I feel we deserved that.

It’s been a tough few days off the back of Wolves because I felt we deserved more. For sure, we didn’t deserve to lose, we deserved to win.

It got brushed over because of the circumstances of a last-minute winner, that’s completely normal.

But the players today showed character and I’m delighted for the fans who travelled to City.

They may not know what to expect when they come here, I get that.

They saw a team that was playing for Everton in the way and image that they want.

I’m delighted with that.

How proud are you of the players? You mentioned about the bitter blow at Wolves but for them to come to arguably the toughest game there is and put in that kind of display?

I’m very proud.

I left them for a day or two after Wolves in terms of approaching it because I could see they were a bit down. That’s normal, it’s fine. You’ve just got to flip that into a positive and I thought they did.

In those days in between, we gave them tactical information, particularly defensively and they took it all on board.

I felt in the dressing room before the game that there was this real spirit, a desire to get something here which, of course, you need. It should be normal but here you need to be absolutely on point for that. Especially when you have 12 minutes on top of the 90 and there’s a few fouls that we shouldn’t be given that don’t go your way but the desire to keep defending.

I could go through the back five, Seamus coming on in a game of that level against Grealish, Foden and these players. They deserve an immense amount of credit - the whole team do.

And it wasn’t just character, there was some quality as well. The home fans were getting on the City players' backs a little bit in the first half when we had a spell of possession. We looked dangerous on the counter-attack at times as well.

I thought we could have had more possession.

I talked to the players before that sometimes City are so good in pressing that you want to miss it out, but we also have to trust in ourselves and believe what we’re trying to do.

The two games we’ve played recently – Villa was behind closed doors – we had more possession, a bit of control in moments of the game and I think the players will start to believe that more when we can play through lines like we did. When we changed play on them a few times and it looked like we were going to get in again in the second half.

We can encourage that; we want more of that. We’ve done it against City today, can we do that against other teams more regularly? For sure we can do it more, it’s what we’re working towards.

Those little moments in the game were good because they gave us respite and players should take confidence from that moving forward, too.

I think the word clinical was used quite a lot coming into this game about the need for the team. Demarai’s goal, you can’t get more clinical than that.

You can’t. He’s got no right to do what he did!

It was an amazing strike that came from nowhere which we’re due one of those. We’ve had a couple against us. The Leicester goal always sticks in my mind with Tielemans when the whole stadium stops aghast and that happened here for us.

We can be more clinical in small bits, more clinical when we break down the line and meet those crosses in, more clinical with the last pass in our moments. That comes from a bit of work.

It’s hard just to tell players to be clinical, that’s not a coaching thing. It comes from work and progress.

I won’t take away from the brilliance of Demarai’s goal. It was something very special.

You’re hoping of the confidence that can bring him and the other forward players for how they’ve played and that goal as well?

They need to be competitive, and they need to want that.

I know they all want it but there’s something about going there and really making things happen.

That’s why we talk about having Dominic back is great. Another level of competition, we know Dominic is a huge player for us, but can we help the squad in January at the top end of the pitch.

To push, to be able to take those moments and be more clinical because we’re working consistently on the team and trying to get better and be up there more.

Can we do that more? Can our strikers be for clinical for us? Yes, and we’ll keep working on that.

Moving onto Dom, it was stressed before how important he is to this team but for him to come in and put in that performance in was very encouraging.

Yes, and we managed it in terms of 60 [minutes]. It was always going to be his level.

I thought he looked good. It’s hard here for strikers sometimes in the way we play but it’ll be great for his legs to have 60 in them. I thought he was really good.

Ben [Godfrey] as well coming back into the team which is difficult.

You can’t ask to come to a tougher place than here as a defender and I thought both of them equipped themselves brilliantly.

It’s great to have them back in there looking as fresh as they did.

Ben’s first start since August when he fractured his fibula against Chelsea. So, to have a display like that – and a run down the right wing typified his energy as well – the way he played with James and Conor as well.

They looked really good. There was stability at the back.

A sense of strength. Ben going toe-to-toe with Haaland, we love to see that but also his general overall defensive display on the ball.

It’s a big plus for us to have him back. You kind of forget sometimes when you have players like Ben out for a few months, Yerry sometimes we don’t have him for periods. We need good defenders, we need good competition in there.

But the players who played today showed great character and that’s what it takes to be an Everton player.

It starts from the back and works its way through the team in a performance like today, and I thought they were all excellent.

And the three centre-backs as well gives you that flexibility options to the fact that it works so well.

Yes, it does. It can mean sometimes that there is a lack of possession in certain games because you have an extra man at the back of the pitch. But sometimes for stability in games and to have bigger players in there to stop spaces for teams like Manchester City who can really hurt you, it’s a nice option to go to start or to go to in game.

Having Ben back there is a really good option for us. Ben’s versatile as well, he can play across the back four or five to a degree. I’m happy with that.

Slight disappointment as a result is that Amadou’s fifth yellow card means he’s out of the Brighton game. Chance for someone else to come into the team?

This is it. Players sit and wait, sometimes they get frustrated. They have to train well and come in and do well.

Sometimes a door open can be a positive for somebody to come in and do well.

At Goodison, with a positive crowd, happy with the result that we got here today and go at it again.

It’s a shame with Amadou. We knew he was on it, disappointed he got the card because he’s playing well. Playing well in that deeper role over the last couple of games but someone else can come in.

Just a word on other players who weren’t involved today, are you hopeful Anthony and Yerry will recover from illness in time for Tuesday?

We’ll see. This flu thing that’s going around – I’ve just got over it myself – it’s knocking people back.

We’ll just have to go day by day with them before Brighton to see how they are because even when they’re better, it takes the sting out of you a little bit, so we’ll see how they feel.

Michael as well, a bit of a niggle in the warm-up?

Yes, a bit of a niggle in the back of his knee in the warm-up.

For precaution’s sake we changed the bench.

Ellis coming back, is it a chance for him to stake his claim within the squad?

Yes, I think it’s been a positive loan.

He’s scored some goals, he’s playing regularly. He needed that for his own development, his own feeling at the start of the season.

Where we’re at now, I want options on the bench. I want the challenging of players who can come in and give us something.

He can come back, train well and is an Everton player so come and be an Everton player and show us what he’s done in the Championship at that level more whenever he gets the chance.

It’ll good to see Ellis back in the next day or so and adds to the squad for us.

Final one, going back to the game you spoke about consistency. How important is it now to follow up the feel-good factor going into the Brighton game?

Absolutely, it’s the biggest thing for me. We get one point here today and I’m excited and happy because it’s tough here.

But it means not much because it’s a point and now we have to take that forward. The players have to feel that.

The biggest danger in football is complacency for any reason or any moment because the Premier League will get you.

We need to understand in the last two, three, four games that we haven’t got the points we wanted. Today we did and now we want to go out and be really hungry for points.

I hope everyone coming to Goodison on Tuesday see players who are hungry, relate to that and gets the crowd going.

We know what it can be like on an evening game at Goodison and then hopefully we can have a good game.

It’s a very good team in Brighton, we have to be very ready. Good possession team, will have possession. We have to trust in ourselves and believe like we did today.