Frank Lampard wants Everton to overcome relegation 'fear' ahead of Newcastle clash

Everton manager Frank Lampard gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 07, 2022 in London, England.

Frank Lampard has told his Everton players they must overcome the “fear” of relegation that has swept over the Merseyside club of late.

Everton go into Thursday's game against Newcastle United at Goodison Park on a woeful run of form that has seen them win just once in the Premier League since Lampard took over at the end of January.

His team was booed off at full-time after their 1-0 defeat to Wolves at the weekend outside the bottom three on goal difference alone, albeit with three games in hand on 18th-placed Watford.

Lampard said after their latest defeat that fans are well within their rights to express their anger which prompted Lampard to express surprise at the “instant negativity” which can follow setbacks at Goodison Park.

The former Chelsea manager said he hopes for a different mood on Thursday. “I think if you walk around in fear of [relegation] happening there’s a good chance you’re adding to the chances it may happen,” he said ahead of the match against a Newcastle side who have dragged themselves up to 14th in the table and away from the relegation zone under the guidance of manager Eddie Howe.

It’s not the time for lies or to change the story. We know where we’re at. But we’ve also seen this club stay up on the last day of the season a couple of times. It’s nothing that’s absolutely new.

Nerves creep in, that’s human nature, but for us it’s not about what might be but what we can action, what we can deal with, and that’s the 12 games in front of us.

We need to absolutely believe that things can change,” he said. “I don't mind a casual belief of 'maybe they will' but a proactive belief that considers what we can do it to affect it.

There have been many positives in our performances but these get eaten up by results – I get that.

The critical thing is getting it right in both boxes. We need results and they will start to change the face of everything.

Former Liverpool defender turned TV pundit Jamie Carragher said on Monday that Everton’s players had been an “absolute disgrace” while challenging them to answer their critics.

It’s the players’ job to answer criticism on the pitch,” added Lampard, who is not sure whether striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be fit enough to return from illness against the Magpies. “The reality is we’re in a position we don’t want to be. I understand the analysis but we all have to get together and answer it.

Tomorrow we’re expecting everyone together fighting. Every game is so important, there are 12 of them left and they’re massive. At Goodison we want to be together. I want the players to start well, we have to engage the fans and when we do that together we’re a force.

It’s the players’ job to answer on the pitch. You look at the Tottenham game [when Everton lost 5-0], I didn’t like the game at all. I wouldn’t use that language, but I didn’t like it at all. We have to accept people have opinions, we have to get together and answer it on the pitch.

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