Liverpool (AFP) – Everton manager Frank Lampard on Friday brushed aside reports that he could be sacked as his troubled side battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Lampard has taken just six points from nine league games since he replaced Rafael Benitez at Goodison Park.
Everton are languishing one point above the relegation zone after a 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Burnley on Wednesday.
With only nine games left to avoid slipping into the second tier for the first time since 1954, there is growing sense of panic engulfing Everton, sparking reports Lampard could be facing the axe after less than half a season in charge.
“I know the rules. For me, in my relatively short managerial career I spent 18 months at Chelsea where I was probably two games from the sack,” Lampard told reporters on Friday.
“Maybe that’s a symptom of football in the Premier League. That’s pressure, that’s fine, you sign up for that. I have no problem with that in terms of speculation.
“We are a huge club, people want to talk about it. I don’t waste my time, I just do my job.”
Everton, who host Manchester United on Saturday, were 16th and four points above the relegation zone when former Chelsea boss Lampard arrived in January.
Having seen their side blow a 2-1 half-time lead against Burnley, Everton fans are beginning to express unhappiness with Lampard.
The former England midfielder urged them not to get caught up in relegation “hysteria” but conceded their passion would add to the pressure on his team.
“If I’m honest it’s not easy when four questions you ask me are about my job and if we are getting relegated,” he said.
“The fans have a passion, they live and breathe this club. I’m here for five minutes in football terms and I live and breathe the club and I want us to stay in the league.
“I have to handle that because I have to do my job and I can’t tell the fans how to be, I can only ask them to turn up tomorrow and be absolutely behind us, as they have done since I’ve been here.
“Results are the turning point of things. If we win on Wednesday it’s a seven-point buffer to Burnley, six points to Watford with a game in hand. If you don’t it flips in the other direction.
“If we get caught up in that hysteria we are caught up in it. We have a job to do on Saturday.”
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