Jordan Pickford had hailed the impact Frank Lampard has made at Everton and is confident of Premier League survival if they can solve one particular issue.
Lampard, 43, replaced Rafa Benitez in the Goodison Park dugout after the Spaniard paid the price for a dreadful run of results. The former Liverpool chief was a controversial choice and it was an experiment doomed to failure. Toffees chiefs turned to the former Chelsea midfielder and manager.
He had been out of work since being sacked by the Blues in January 2021. And he inherited a side devoid of confidence and fighting to stave off relegation.
Everton have picked up only three points since Lampard’s arrival, with victory over Leeds United. They have lost to Newcastle, Southampton and Manchester City.
But Pickford is adamant that there is already a different mindset among the playing staff.
“I feel the spark is there,” he told Sky Sports. “The new manager has come in and we’ve started off well.
“We’ve been in games a lot more and now it’s just about getting the results. We’ve had a couple of tough fixtures but every game in the Premier League is tough so it’s about being on your A game every time.”
And the England shot-stopper revealed the alterations that Lampard has made to the way the team operates.
“We’re trying to play out from the back a lot more now. We’re having a lot more possession in games,” he added.
“I know we didn’t against Manchester City as you’re never going to have more possession than them because they’re that good of a side, but we are now more of a possession-based team, and I feel like we’re being more aggressive now without the ball.”
Pickford aware of Everton failings
Everton are just one place and one point above the drop zone. They do have games in hand on all the clubs around them in the table.
Indeed, the two clubs directly above them, Leeds and Brentford, have both played three more games than the Merseysiders.
The Blues have won six top-flight matches in 2021-2022. But only one of those has come away from home, with eight defeats on their travels.
And Pickford refused to duck the issue of the side’s obvious shortcoming.
“We’ve not been good enough away from Goodison, but our home form has been alright,” he continued. “We need the same passion, desire and aggression in every game we play if we are to pick up results wherever we’re playing.
“Picking up points on the road is something we need to work on and it’s something we need to be better at.”
Pickford hails Everton quality
Lampard takes his charges to Tottenham on Monday night. There is also the distraction of an FA Cup last-eight clash with Crystal Palace to contend with.
However the 27-year-old, who will make his 200th Premier League appearance in north London, feels there is enough class in the side to deal with both competitions.
“We’re now in the quarter-final of the FA Cup which is just the second time since I’ve been here at Everton so we’re close but there’s still a lot of games to be played yet,” he stated.
“We’ve got the Premier League to deal with as well so there’s a lot going on. If people choose to look at the table, playing after others have played maybe they would feel an added pressure if we do drop into the relegation zone, but we have to focus on us.
“We have to perform, and we’ll head to Tottenham looking to get three points. The quality and depth of ability we’ve got in the side, we’ll be fine.”