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Lampard plays down crisis talk at struggling Everton


London (AFP) – Everton manager Frank Lampard has played down “crisis” talk at the club even though they could be in the Premier League relegation zone by the time they kick off against Wolves on Sunday.

Monday’s 5-0 capitulation at Tottenham was Everton’s fourth defeat in five league games since the former Chelsea boss took charge but Lampard said he found it difficult to accept “instant negativity” following defeats.

Referring to reports of a “crisis” meeting, Lampard said Friday: “I had seasons as a player when we had them (player meetings) and went on to win the Champions League. I’m not showing off there, it’s just the reality.

“The idea is we find the answer and solution. To hear players speak a bit is important for me and some players spoke and that’s good.

“But the ownership of it has to be mine as coach. I am fresh to the club so sometimes I find it a bit hard to take the constant negativity which kicks in instantly here when something goes wrong because I don’t feel that.

“This is football, it happens and we have to correct it. The only way to correct it is by training well, showing resilience and showing character. That’s my message.”

Lampard’s team are one point above the relegation zone heading into the weekend, but a win or draw for Burnley at Brentford on Saturday would drop Everton into the bottom three before Wolves visit Goodison Park.

Everton will welcome back Ben Godfrey, who tore a hamstring in Lampard’s first match in early February, and forward Demarai Gray, who has missed the past two games with illness.

“Maybe there will be a change because maybe we’ve got players back who are available who haven’t been,” Lampard said.

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