Everton are standing behind Frank Lampard as he prepares to lead the club into its biggest sequence of games in the Premier League era.
Lampard reported to the club’s Finch Farm training base on Thursday determined to mastermind a compelling response to Wednesday’s hugely damaging defeat at Burnley.
Everton are one point above the relegation zone having played the same number of games as Burnley, and have taken just six points from a possible 27 under Lampard.
Frank Lampard reacts during Everton’s disappointing 3-2 defeat by rivals Burnley at Turf Moor
Alex Iwobi, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate (L-R) appear dejected after Burnley’s winning goal
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The manner of the loss at Turf Moor led to speculation on Thursday morning that Farhad Moshiri, the club’s majority shareholder, was on his way to Liverpool to speak to Lampard.
That wasn’t the case, as Moshiri — who has residence in London — is not currently in the UK and is not expected to be at Goodison Park for Saturday’s clash with Manchester United. The Iranian billionaire has only attended one match this season.
If Everton were to lose and Burnley avoid defeat at Norwich, they would finish the weekend in the bottom three.
However, the club insist Lampard has their full support.
Performances at home have generally improved since the former Chelsea manager arrived on January 31, with league wins over Leeds and Newcastle, and FA Cup victories against Brentford and Boreham Wood.
The Blues were unfortunate not to pick up a point at home to champions Manchester City after Rodri’s late handball went unpunished, although a deserved 1-0 defeat by Wolves was another blow to their hopes of survival.
Club officials are not panicking and are far from resigned to relegation, with the mood within the camp said to still be positive despite their predicament. It is hoped that improved displays at Goodison – combined with the raucous atmosphere created by the fans – can play a part in escaping the drop.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri (R) and chairman Bill Kenwright are keeping faith with Lampard
Maxwel Cornet wheels away in celebration after condemning Everton to yet another defeat
A minority of supporters called for Lampard for be sacked on social media in the wake of Wednesday’s loss, while outspoken former striker Victor Anichebe claimed that his old club will ‘100% go down if a change isn’t made’.
However, Lampard still appears to retain the backing of most fans, with many in the away end at Turf Moor singing his name prior to Burnley’s fightback. Most importantly, those above him still believe in his ability to steer the club to safety.
Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright were united in their decision to hand the ex-Derby manager a two-and-a-half year deal at the end of January, having considered the likes of Vitor Pereira, Wayne Rooney and Duncan Ferguson to replace Rafa Benitez.
Richarlison scored twice from the spot against Burnley but Everton threw their lead away
Benitez, who was appointed directly by Moshiri, was a hugely unpopular choice among supporters due to his close ties with rivals Liverpool, and after a bright start things quickly turned sour.
While Kenwright was not involved in the divisive appointment of the Spaniard, the decision making behind the scenes is said to have improved since and the club recently moved to bring in a new director of football, former Wolves chief Kevin Thelwell.
It is hoped that Thelwell, working alongside Lampard and his backroom staff, will have the time to improve the club’s much-maligned recruitment strategy over the summer, with a focus on signing aggressive, hungry players.
Lampard is already busy preparing his side for a game against Manchester United on Saturday
But for now, the focus remains on staying in the Premier League, starting again with Saturday lunchtime’s visit of Manchester United – Everton’s third game in seven days.
The relentless nature of this week’s fixtures is also believed to have played a part in the attitude around the club, with Wednesday night’s loss already forgotten as Lampard and his squad look ahead to another crucial match at home.
Reports earlier in the day suggesting that Moshiri was heading to Liverpool – perhaps for talks with his manager – are untrue, with all eyes said to be on picking up a positive result against Ralf Rangnick’s side.
Tough fixtures against the likes of Leicester, Liverpool and Chelsea follow soon after, while a six-pointer against Watford has been rescheduled for May 11.
Speaking after the defeat at Burnley, Lampard told Sky Sports: ‘We got into good areas but we were not clinical enough. At that point you always leave the game open, then we make mistakes for their goals.
‘Listen, the players have to work and fight to get through this if it’s a lack of confidence. We are in a battle. If we didn’t know it, we do now. We’re still above Burnley in the table so we have to keep fighting and looking forward.
‘All the teams around us are in similar positions. You look at the results it’s why we are where we are, because of results over a long period and the same for other teams around us.’