Veteran manager Neil Warnock feels Everton can avoid the drop if one man is fit but has urged the club’s defenders to help Frank Lampard out of a hole.
The Toffees are on a dreadful run of form, with just one win in their last 11 top-flight games. Indeed they have picked up only eight points since November 1. The Merseysiders are struggling down in 17th spot in the Premier League table, out of the relegation zone on goal difference alone.
One positive aspect of their current predicament is the fact they have played three games fewer than the two teams directly above them. However, it is points on the board that clubs need at this stage of the campaign.
Warnock knows a thing or two about management. The 73-year-old has worked at 17 clubs during a 41-year career.
And he knows exactly what Lampard is experiencing at the moment.
“It’ll be hard at the minute for [Lampard],” he said on talkSPORT. “I look at managers when they’re struggling and you look at their body language – sometimes you just don’t really know what you’re going to do next.”
And the former Middlesbrough chief believes getting one man fit plus a few of the rearguard to up their game will help matters.
“Frank’s in a difficult situation. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, I think is such an important player for them, he’s got to get him fit,” he added. “I don’t think that the defenders are all Premier League standard – not all of them – but one or two players could pull their finger and help the manager a bit.
“When you’re in a situation like Frank is, I don’t think it’s about ability. I don’t think it’s about passing, I think it’s about what you’ve got under your shirt.”
Lampard needs leaders
Warnock has backed Everton to stay in the top flight. But he feels two things need to happen to ensure they are not in the Championship next term.
“I do think they’ve got enough when they play together and if Calvert-Lewin can avoid injury,” he continued. “Frank needs help on the pitch. He needs one or two leaders. He needs people to help him in that dressing room.
“When things aren’t going right, you’ve got to get your senior players to do the work and, I might be wrong because I’m not inside the dressing room, but I don’t see the leaders.”