Frank Lampard says keeping Everton in the Premier League this season would be ‘bigger’ than his title wins at Chelsea.
Everton have climbed out of the relegation places after consecutive Premier League wins, but remain just one point above the drop zone ahead of Wednesday’s trip to face already-relegated Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Toffees can move further clear of the bottom three with a win over Roy Hodgson’s side and Lampard has opened up on the consuming nature of battling for Premier League survival.
The 43-year-old believes the stakes are higher now than during his time challenging for Premier League titles as a player.
“When you live this experience of a relegation battle it so consumes you and you so want the right thing because you understand what the stakes are,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “The stakes for this are bigger for me now than when I won the Premier League as a player because of what it means to the club.
“You know the economics of it are greater as well, to a different degree, and you know what it means to the fans and the people who work here. There shouldn’t be any way, with four games to go and one point out of the relegation zone, that you think you are fine. We’ve got a big job to do still.”
Lampard discussed the challenge of taking on a struggling side following his appointment at Everton, having previously coached at Chelsea and Derby as the teams pushed towards the top of their respective divisions.
The Everton boss insists he is relishing the challenge to earn results in a different manner as the Toffees look to escape their precarious position.
“There are a lot of questions of everybody when you are in this position, and I came into it,” he said. “The players are questioned, the club is questioned, I’m questioned. It’s the cutting-edge part of the job in that position. I’m having an incredible experience – again, I am not talking like it is done, we are in it still – but I came here and people wanted to challenge me.
“At Derby we had probably 60% possession, high press, and Chelsea 60-70% possession, high press. That was the way I set up as a coach. Then in the last three games we are working at 25-30% possession, organising the team, getting a result, seeing the reaction, and that’s been an incredible challenge in a good way.”