Frank Lampard admits he has dished out some ‘home truths’ to his Everton side amid the club’s struggle for results.
Everton face Newcastle in the Premier League this evening looking to address their torrid form, with the Toffees outside the relegation places on goal difference after losing eight of their last nine league fixtures.
Lampard has won just once in the Premier League since replacing Rafael Benitez as manager in January and the club have lost each of their last four games without scoring.
Lampard remains positive that Everton can turn their fortunes around this season but insisted his outlook should not be mistake as a ‘sign of weakness’.
“I hope people aren’t taking my positivity as a sign of weakness,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “I try to be as positive as I can but don’t take that as things not being said behind the scenes — they certainly are.
“I will sit here and talk about belief and confidence. That is one thing, but doing your job out on the pitch on a Saturday is another. And I’m not soft on that. The players know that.”
Lampard revealed he had laid out some ‘home truths’ to his struggling squad ahead of Thursday’s clash with the Magpies, though insisted that all criticism will remain behind closed doors.
“I have spoken to the group a couple of times this week about where we are and what we need to do,” he added. ‘I’ve been very open on the home truths there and on the performances as well.
“To be publicly critical would be wrong. But behind the scenes every manager is the same; when it is your job to call things out then you come out with them.
“Some mistakes in football can happen — it is a game of mistakes — but some repetitive things we work on need to get better.”
Lampard spoke on his need to change the mentality at Everton and the ‘fear factor’ surrounding the club at present, calling on his players to be ‘strong’ as the Toffees look to climb away from the relegation places.
“It’s clearly a big issue here, I’m not naive to that,” he said on the club’s mentality. “From the minute I came here and the period before when I watched from the outside, I sensed it. There is a fear factor when the team is not winning games.
“Part of my job is to try to help solve that, and that comes with communication to the players, to the staff. Anyone who can affect things needs to affect it positively.
“You can be a cheerleader all week but come Saturday if things get tough and players don’t rise to that, it means nothing. So there’s a lot of responsibility on the players. They have got to be strong.
“If you walk around in fear of relegation, there’s a good chance you’re adding to the possibility of it happening. We know where we’re at, it’s human nature to worry, but it’s about what we can action to change it.”