Lampard warns Everton cannot relax in relegation dogfight
Everton manager Frank Lampard has warned his players to “expect the worst” in terms of results from their relegation rivals, insisting they cannot relax despite two crucial wins.
Victory over Leicester on Sunday made it 10 points from five matches and lifted the Toffees out of the drop zone into 16th place, one point ahead of both Burnley and Leeds with a match in hand.
Everton travels to already relegated Watford on Wednesday but Lampard has stressed they cannot underestimate their opponents or consider they have already done the hard work.
“The only message is we have to go now and finish the job, which is a tough job,” the former Chelsea boss said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“We have to expect the worst. Everyone else can win, but we can control ourselves so there is absolutely no way we can relax. That’s the biggest message.
“To underestimate it because Watford are relegated would be our biggest danger. Every game in the Premier League is dangerous, especially when you travel away. The minute you think you have cracked it, it becomes dangerous.”
Sunday’s victory at Leicester was Everton’s first on the road in the Premier League since August but, with two more away games to come, Lampard wants to see more consistency.
“It’s a step forward,” he said. “Getting one result doesn’t mean you go and get more. You have to understand why we got the result — the team was together in every moment, fought for every chance, and defended very tight.
“That’s what gets you good results away from home and consistently doing that is the big challenge.”
Everton are likely to be without centre-back Yerry Mina until the final-day trip to Arsenal after the Colombia international was forced off with a calf injury at Leicester.