Frank Lampard believes confidence is growing for Everton after they climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Leicester City.
Everton have been in relegation danger all season, but took a step away from the drop zone by beating Leicester while Leeds lost to Arsenal. Lampard’s side are now one point above Leeds and Burnley – and they have the most left to play for.
Against Leicester, Vitaliy Mykolenko put them ahead six minutes in. Patson Daka equalised five minutes later, before Mason Holgate scored what would become the winner on the half-hour mark.
It seems the escape is now on for Everton, who are “fighting together” according to their manager.
He felt the result against Leicester was deserved, but knows the end goal has not yet been reached.
Lampard told Sky Sports: “They all are [emotional games] at the moment; there’s so much on the games. We’re fighting together.
“It was a tough game and tough opponent but we deserved it. We created chances, rode our luck at times. It’s important to enjoy these moments but there’s a lot of work to do.”
One of the more enjoyable moments was for January signing Mykolenko to get his first goal for the club at an early timeframe.
Lampard said: “I’m really pleased. For all that’s going on for him at home, he’s done incredibly. It was great to get in front so early in the game.”
But just as quickly as they went in front, they were pegged back. However, Lampard was proud of their response to the equaliser.
He said: “Proud because that can knock you, particularly with our away record. You go again and the lads did that. They kept going for every minute.”
Lampard praises Pickford and Everton fans
Leicester had more shots than Everton, nine of which were on target. But goalkeeper Jordan Pickford – man of the match in last week’s win over Chelsea – once again made himself count.
His manager noted: “He’s in great form and he’s getting the recognition he rightly deserves. A couple of big saves for us and you need those top level players to produce.
“I think we’re building confidence. At Goodison we’ve been great but the away form has held us back.”
Also helping Everton along in that regard has been their fanbase, who Lampard is thankful for.
He stated: “They’re amazing. What they did for us yesterday [at the training ground] I have never experienced anything like it.
“The support right until the end, I went back out there because they are incredible and they need to know how we feel about them. We have work still to do.”
And that is despite another result going their way with Leeds losing to fall beneath them. Lampard knew what was going on at the Emirates Stadium, but still wants Everton to focus inwards.
He said: “It kept coming up on the board so I was aware of it. The main thing is to focus on us.”
The next thing Everton have to focus on is their trip to face Watford on Wednesday, before home games against Brentford and Crystal Palace. Their season closes at the venue of Leeds’ defeat when they visit Arsenal later this month.