Everton manager Frank Lampard insisted a detrimental trait holding his players back must go, and called on the Goodison faithful to show patience.
Everton ensured Lampard’s first match in charge was a winning one after seeing off Brentford in the FA Cup at Goodison Park. An early Ben Godfrey injury subdued the atmosphere, though the home crowd were in full voice when Yerry Mina headed the Toffees in front after half an hour.
Richarlison doubled the advantage soon after the break before Ivan Toney pulled one back when converting a penalty he himself won.
Any nerves were quickly extinguished when Mason Holgate restored the two-goal advantage less than 10 minutes later.
Andros Townsend piled more misery on Thomas Frank’s Bees with an injury time fourth as Everton secured safe passage to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup with a commanding 4-1 victory.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS after the match, Lampard said when asked what pleased him most: “The way we saw the players come out on the pitch.
“I know they’ve been through a tough time. Results have knocked confidence. So when you ask certain things of them like be brave on the ball and play through the lines like for the second goal, then that makes me really happy.
Lampard lauds Goodison atmosphere
“The big thing today was the atmosphere. It’s been spoken about a lot to me. When it rises it’s really difficult to play against.
“The players had a responsibility to lift the fans. They did that. The fans lifted and when we do that, things can be bright.”
Lampard was then asked if ridding the players of their “nervousness” is a priority, with the interviewer noting that troublesome trait has pervaded the Toffees squad over the last year.
Lampard admitted: “Yes, they need to feel support for that from me and my staff.
“But I certainly won’t be getting carried away about winning the FA Cup. We’ve got big games coming ahead, particularly in the league.
“So it’s important that the players keep level-headed, but there’s so many important things today that we can take as positives.”
On his name being sung by the Goodison faithful, Lampard admitted it was a special feeling. However, he also called on them to show patience and to support the team during the times when things aren’t going their way.
“Yes [it is]. I can’t thank the fans enough for the support I’ve had before [the Brentford victory]. Coming to this club last week in difficult times, they’ve given me messages and a feeling for the city.
“Then the reaction they showed on the pitch today, it means a lot to me. But what means even more is the way they support the team.
“There’ll be moments where we’re trying to do something that doesn’t quite work. But that’s the way I want us to go. We need their support and we absolutely got it today.”
Lampard provides concerning injury update
When quizzed on what his year away from football has been like, Lampard joked it’s been “quite nice”.
“I’ve seen more of my family and it’s been reflection time in terms of perspective. Football isn’t everything even though it feels like it today.
“I ‘ve had a good year but I wanted to get back. Once the opportunity to come to Everton arose it was a huge one for me.”
The one negative on the day stemmed from the injury suffered by Ben Godfrey. Providing an early update, Lampard said: “It’s a hamstring.
“I don’t know how bad, so we’ll see. I’m slightly concerned and they’re not easy to gauge from day one. We’ll have to let it settle down for two days and have a scan.
“I’m disappointed because he’s shown he’s a top young player.”