Frank Lampard believes Everton’s poor away form has created a deep-rooted pessimism that must be overcome for the team to pull clear of relegation trouble.
Everton have lost their two Premier League away games under Lampard, at Newcastle and Southampton, although their problems on the road predate the latest manager. The relegation-threatened team have the Premier League’s worst away record – winning once in 12 matches and collecting six points from a possible 36 – and visit Tottenham on Monday in desperate need of a result. A more positive mindset will be key to that aim, Lampard insists.
“The away form is something that won’t necessarily be changed overnight,” he said. “There are reasons why we’re not getting results. I think some of those are confidence or mentality issues, and when I say mentality it’s not a negative thing, it’s just about how we handle games as a group away from home. Some of them it’s the structure of the team and how we set up, and it’s certainly my responsibility to get that right. But that’s one that we do work on.
“Having said that, if we can get some traction and can get a result, whatever that may be in a positive sense, I think that really helps the change because at the minute there’s a feeling throughout the club of: ‘We’re going away from home, we may lose this game.’ That’s the first thing we have to broach. If we can broach that with the result then I think we can maybe really start taking that step forward. We don’t want to be a soft touch, that’s for sure.”
Everton have impressed at home since Lampard replaced Rafael Benítez but he admits their previous away performance, a 2-0 defeat at Southampton, was the worst of his brief reign and that lessons must be learned. “We didn’t play as I want us to play, and the players knew that,” he said. “We had a meeting two days after that game to quickly see what went wrong and I think the players understood.
“Whether it would have won or lost us that game, or made a difference, I don’t know, but I know for sure we could have changed our performance levels in that game. The players know. Tactically, there were issues with the team as the game went on that I certainly spoke about afterwards and that’s something that we must improve.”