The Everton players walking selection tightrope ahead of Man City after Frank Lampard eye-opening admission
Everton lost to Southampton and Frank Lampard will surely be weighing up changes to face Manchester City.
It wasn’t a scathing assessment of his side’s latest defeat - rather a candid one.
A 3-0 victory over Leeds United the previous weekend was supposed to be the turning point for 16th-placed Toffees.
Instead, they backed it up with a performance Lampard felt ‘reverted to type’ and sunk back into the relegation mire.
Speaking after the loss, Lampard said: “We are focused on the job in hand. We have to have a belief in what we’re doing, the home games have shown that.
“It’s just very clear what’s in front of us. There’s never a magic wand, but we’re very understanding of the situation.
“We’ve addressed a lot in terms of the way we want to play, but there’s still things you can’t change instantly.
“Today was really eye-opening in the second half, of where we are and where we want to get to.
“It felt like reverting to type a little bit after we conceded, and I want to change that. So, there’s lots to learn for us.”
With a visit of Premier League leaders Manchester City to Goodison Park next for Everton, Lampard will undoubtedly be weighing up changes to his starting line-up
Injuries will dictate some of his decision-making.
With Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey both still absent, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate are likely to keep their spots despite below-par performances.
But here are the players who could find themselves out of the side.
The academy product's been going through somewhat of an Everton revival.
After an impressive display against Leeds, in which he shackled Whites danger man Raphinha, Kenny deservedly kept his berth at left-back.
In fairness to the defender, he was by no means the worst player against Southampton.
In fact, it was Seamus Coleman’s poor marking which led to Shane Long doubling the home side's lead.
But Lampard has got the utmost trust in skipper Coleman and is unlikely to drop him when experience and nous in a dogfight is required.
Vitaliy Mykolenko was again available after missing the two previous games.
The Ukraine international was brought in for £18 million last month and there are high hopes for him. He's made decent strides as he acclimatises to the Premier League.
Mykolenko is a natural left-sided defender who would offer more balance than Kenny.
For that reason, it could come into Lampard's thought process.
It was hardly a shock the midfielder was withdrawn at half-time.
Having been booked, Allan then gave away a foul that could have led to another caution moments later.
He was walking the disciplinary tightrope and another foul might have seen the Brazilian being given his marching orders.
When fit, Allan has been ever-present for Everton this season.
But having made 22 appearances, an arduous campaign could be starting taking its toll on the 31-year-old.
A spell of respite may be exactly what's needed to recharge his batteries.
Donny van de Beek began brightly against Southampton before fading.
Still, the Manchester United loanee is highly likely to keep his spot given how much he's rated by Lampard.
The Everton boss also revealed that Abdoulaye Doucoure's making good progress as he recovers from a groin injury.
The Blues may understandably be cautious with the Frenchman given his importance to the team.
But if Doucoure impresses in training and is given the green light to feature, there may be a temptation to thrust him into the deep end. He could be in contention to be back against City.
The former Arsenal forward was another who warranted a starting spot on the south coast.
Iwobi marveled against Leeds, with his display arguably his best in royal blue during his near three-year stay.
But the Nigeria international struggled to back up that outing up at St Mary’s.
He couldn't have the same impact and was substituted in the 64th minute. It was an outing like many during a stuttering Everton career.
Iwobi had only 32 touches of the ball, which was the second least of those in the starting line-up, and was successful with just 66.7% of his passes.
Everton are hopeful that Demarai Gray will be back from his hip injury to face City.
He's been one of the Blues' star performers this season and will surely be back into the team if fit.