Frank Lampard says Everton remain a ‘work in progress’ ahead of the club’s FA Cup fifth round clash with Boreham Wood.
Lampard has endured a mixed start to his reign with the Toffees, having picked up two wins and recorded three losses across his five fixtures in all competitions.
Everton take on the lowest-ranked side remaining in the FA Cup as Boreham Wood arrive at Goodison Park on Thursday evening, with the National League promotion hopefuls looking to cause a huge upset and become just the second non-league side to reach the quarter-finals in the modern era.
Lampard has refused to take progression to the last eight for granted despite the divisional gap between the sides, insisting his team remain a work in progress.
“I’ve been here such a short period of time that we are still a work in progress,” he said.
“It is another opportunity for us to keep improving. We don’t have to look to view it as anything other than another game to be better and to consider the opposition in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.
“There is no feeling that it’ll be fine, with incredible confidence. We are not there.”
Frank Lampard says Vitalii Mykolenko will start tomorrow night's #EmiratesFACup tie. 🇺🇦
— Everton (@Everton) March 2, 2022
Lampard revealed that he congratulated Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard following the club’s upset of Bournemouth in the previous round, admitting it was a special evening to watch the non-league side reach the fifth round.
“I sent him a message because I’d watched the game. It was a special evening; I’m close with [Bournemouth boss] Scott Parker as well. I think the FA Cup just does that; the feeling of the players, the manager, the owner and the fans. I thought it was only right to congratulate him and give him an early warm welcome to Goodison.
“I’ve been in similar situations before in my playing days. I wanted them all to know they’ll get any help they need in terms of the matchday, except for the 90 minutes of the game.”
Lampard also provided an update on Vitaliy Mykolenko and confirmed the left-back will play against Boreham Wood, despite the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the defender.
“He will play tomorrow. That was a decision I’d made regardless of the outside situation. You have to be aware of the life decision for him in the moment. He’s starting the game.
“The conversations I’ve had, I’d rather keep quiet because they are delicate. He’s a new player here, he has all our support.”