Frank Lampard insists his most important job is to stay positive as he attempts to steer Everton to Premier League safety, ahead of a huge clash with Burnley on Wednesday.
Everton travel to Turf Moor for what is arguably the biggest game of the season for both teams so far.
The Toffees have 10 games left but sit just three points above the relegation zone, and should their horrendous away form continue with another defeat, 19th-placed Burnley would only be a point behind.
Lampard, who confirmed Everton will be without the injured Nathan Patterson and Donny van de Beek, as well as the suspended Michael Keane and Allan, insisted he has to stay positive, however, despite winning just two of his eight league games in charge.
“Remaining positive and confident is the biggest thing for me to do,” he told a news conference.
“A lot of the feeling of expectation, the dissection of games and results comes in the modern day with any huge club, we are a huge club, a huge fanbase and tradition so it’s very much expected that if you’re not getting the results, in a position where you don’t want to be, then that comes.
“The most important thing for me is to be the positive one, always focusing on the next game, imploring everyone in the club to be focused and positive on what we’re doing. That’s absolutely my first role.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, had a simple message for his side.
“Yes – kick it in the net. It’s not rocket science,” he told reporters.
“The whole team can score a goal and the whole team can defend. We ask a lot of our players, so it’s not just about Wout (Weghorst), J-Rod (Jay Rodriguez) and Barnsey (Ashley Barnes) and these people, it’s about all of the team responding to score a goal.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Burnley – Wout Weghorst
Wout Weghorst has scored just one goal in his first 10 Premier League appearances for the club and has not had a shot or touch in the opposition box in either of his last two games against Brentford and Man City. Weghorst has not gone three consecutive top-flight league appearances without a shot since his first three in August 2014 for Heracles Almelo, with all of those coming as a substitute.
Everton – Anthony Gordon
Anthony Gordon had to settle for a place on the bench against West Ham, but has been a consistent performer under Lampard and seems likely to return at Turf Moor. The youngster has been one of the only bright spots from a remarkably poor season for Everton.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Lampard has lost eight of his last nine away Premier League matches (W1), losing four with Chelsea and his first four with current club Everton. The last manager to lose his first five away matches with a club was Jan Siewert at Huddersfield Town in 2019 (lost first seven matches).
– Lampard has won all three of his Premier League meetings with Burnley by an aggregate score of 10-2. Against no side does he have a better 100% win rate as a top-flight manager.
– Burnley have failed to score in each of their last four Premier League matches – losing each game – last having a longer goalless run in the league between March and May 2015 (six in a row). The Clarets have not lost five league games in a row without scoring March 2006 in the Championship.
– Everton have received a red card in each of their last three Premier League matches (Jonjoe Kenny vs Wolves, Allan vs Newcastle and Keane vs West Ham) – no side has ever seen a player sent off in four consecutive Premier League games.
– Everton have lost their last two Premier League games against sides in the relegation zone, both this season against Norwich and Newcastle United. They have not lost more consecutive such games since a run of three between May and November 1997 (vs Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton).