Frank Lampard admits Everton’s ‘confidence problem smacks you in the face’ after Newcastle defeat

Manager suffered defeat in his first Premier League game in charge of the Toffees, at Newcastle United.

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Frank Lampard’s first game in charge of Everton ended in defeat as Newcastle United recovered from going a goal down to win 3-1 at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.

The Toffees, who have now gone six games without a league win, took the lead after 36 minutes when Jamaal Lascelles bundled the ball into his own net.

Mason Holgate’s own goal levelled the scoring for the home side before Ryan Fraser and Kieran Trippier netted to lift Eddie Howe’s men out of the relegation zone.

Following the game, Lampard elaborated on the initial struggles after only a week in charge but reiterated his belief in his squad.

“We must keep our heads up for sure because there’s a long way to go. People made a lot out of this game, I was very aware of the difficulty of it coming in fresh and I learnt some things about the team,” Lampard said.

“The confidence problem smacks you in the face because I’ve come into the club when they’re on a run of results that’s left them in a position that we’re in.

“It’s my job to change that but there’s not a magic wand on that front because this is the Premier League.

“If there’s anything to do, it’s to work, focus, look back at the game and look forward at what we can do in the next games coming up.

“If anyone thought this was going to be easy because we beat Brentford in the cup, it was never going to be that. It puts a real sharp focus on it for us, but I’ve got real belief in this squad. We must build that confidence.”

Confidence building

The defeat sees Lampard’s side only three points above the relegation zone with 17 games remaining in the league season.

They face Leeds United and Southampton in the next two fixtures, two games that will come with big pressure as they try to steer themselves to Premier League safety.

Speaking on BT Sport after the game, former Everton defender Joleon Lescott stated his old club can’t afford to prioritise certain fixtures.

“He [Lampard] needs to get some level of momentum. I don’t think they’re in a position to prioritise any fixture.

“The Leeds game is huge. [If] they beat Leeds then they’re level on points with them. They need to get points onto the board and build momentum that way.”

Early injuries hold Everton back

Lampard was forced into two early substitutes when Demarai Gray and Yerry Mina departed the field with injuries picked up.

Gray, who has been one of the Toffees’ best players this season, picked up a hip injury, whilst Mina was taken off 10 minutes later with a quad issue.

“They [the injuries] affected us a lot because they’re big players for us,” the Everton boss said.

“Demarai’s had a fantastic season so far and I felt that we were causing them some problems with Anthony [Gordon] and Richarlison.

“Yerry’s a big player for us too, so when you lose two big players, you also restrict yourself on subs in the second half.

“I would have more changes to try and affect the game, but it was impossible, other than bringing Donny [van de Beek] - who came on at a difficult time.

“They were big circumstances that happened and made it difficult.”