Everton must maintain their composure in their fight to avoid relegation, with future league games against Newcastle United and Leeds United unlikely to decide their fate, according to manager Frank Lampard.
Everton, who have been in the Premier League for 68 years, appointed Lampard as Rafa Benitez’s successor last week in the hope of avoiding relegation. They are currently 16th in the table after 20 games, just four points above the relegation zone.
“We must maintain our composure since we have a long way to go… I came here with 18 games left, so focusing solely on these two games would be a mistake “Lampard told reporters ahead of Newcastle’s match on Tuesday.
Everton defender Ben Godfrey will be out until March after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round win against Brentford.
Lampard also backed new acquisition Dele Alli, who was chastised by former England manager Glenn Hoddle for his dress during his Goodison Park welcome after joining from Tottenham Hotspur.
“I don’t care what car he drives, what clothing he wears, as long as I have a youngster who comes to training every day, wants to improve every day… the contemporary day has gone on, it’s changed,” Lampard added.
Everton will face a Newcastle side that is fighting for its life in the Premier League, lying second from bottom with 15 points from 21 games.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe told reporters on Monday, “I’m under no illusions, as the manager of this large club, I’m always going to be in the firing line.”
“Frank will stick to his principles, like he did against Brentford. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them because they have a great team.”
Newcastle signed five players in January to improve their chances of surviving the Premier League, with Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood making their debuts against Watford and Leeds United, respectively, while Matt Targett, Dan Burn, and Bruno Guimaraes are set to make their debuts against Watford and Leeds United.