Premier League • England

‘I know the rules’ – Lampard gives honest reaction to Everton sack speculation

Frank Lampard managing Everton

Frank Lampard claims to have “no problem” with speculation about his future at Everton manager, even if he knows it is a lingering subject at present.

Everton appointed Lampard in late January after the dismissal of Rafael Benitez. They turned to Lampard as the solution in their efforts to climb away from the relegation zone. It has not worked out just yet, though.

A defeat to Burnley recently has heightened the pressure on Lampard and his players. They are now just one point above the relegation zone with nine matches still to play.

There have subsequently been murmurs of discontent with Lampard. Some have questioned his credentials in a relegation battle.

The former Derby County and Chelsea manager is not oblivious to the speculation. For Lampard, though, it is part and parcel of the job and he must get on with it.

He said: “I know the rules. For me, in my relatively short managerial career I spent 18 months at Chelsea where I was probably two games from the sack.

“Maybe that’s a symptom of football in the Premier League. That’s pressure, that’s fine; you sign up for that. I have no problem with that in terms of speculation.

“We are a huge club, people want to talk about it. I don’t waste my time, I just do my job.”

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Lampard was speaking in view of Everton’s home match against Manchester United at Saturday lunchtime. It will be a tricky obstacle on their route to trying to avoid danger.

The manager wants them to focus on the task at hand, rather than any other looming questions. He also urged the fans to stay on side at Goodison Park.

Lampard added: “If I’m honest it’s not easy when four questions you ask me are about my job and if we are getting relegated.

“The fans have a passion, they live and breathe this club. I’m here for five minutes in football terms and I live and breathe the club and I want us to stay in the league.

“I have to handle that because I have to do my job and I can’t tell the fans how to be; I can only ask them to turn up tomorrow and be absolutely behind us – as they have done since I’ve been here.

“Results are the turning point of things. If we win on Wednesday (it’s a) seven-point buffer to Burnley; six points to Watford with a game in hand. If you don’t it flips in the other direction.

“If we get caught up in that hysteria we are caught up in it. We have a job to do tomorrow.”

Lampard wants Everton to fight

Everton know they are in a fight for their safety. As such, he wants their attitude to reflect that on the pitch.

He continued: “In the period we are in now when we are fighting for results we have to be controlled, nasty, if that’s the right word.

“We obviously need fight because when you are in this position you need to fight, to run, to compete and we have absolutely done that at Goodison every game I’ve been here.

“It has to be in our nature. Those are the basics.”

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