Everton boss Frank Lampard looks to West Ham and his uncle Harry Redknapp for inspiration as he seeks to turn the club's fortunes around

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Everton boss Frank Lampard looks to West Ham and his uncle Harry Redknapp for inspiration as he seeks to turn the club's fortunes around

  • Everton are at a ‘critical’ juncture in their battle to beat the drop 
  • Frank Lampard's side face his former club Chelsea at Goodison on Sunday
  • The 43-year-old says he’s been through enough to cope with the pressure 

Frank Lampard looks to his first club, West Ham, and his uncle Harry Redknapp for inspiration as Everton battle to stay up and bid to become a proper Premier League force.

Lampard’s Everton are at a ‘critical’ juncture as they face his former club, Chelsea, on Sunday with six games left in which to protect a proud record of being in the top flight since 1954. Everton are in the bottom three with two games in hand over Burnley and Leeds.

The Everton manager is idolised at Chelsea as the club’s record goalscorer and their manager for 18 months before Thomas Tuchel arrived and won the Champions League. But it’s the comparisons with West Ham that will interest Evertonians.

Frank Lampard’s Everton are at a ‘critical’ juncture as they prepare to face Chelsea on Sunday

Frank Lampard’s Everton are at a ‘critical’ juncture as they prepare to face Chelsea on Sunday

Frank Lampard’s Everton are at a ‘critical’ juncture as they prepare to face Chelsea on Sunday

Since returning to the Premier League a decade ago, the Hammers, now under David Moyes, have reached a European semi-final at their new London Stadium. Everton are planning to move to a state-of-the-art 52,000-seat arena in 2024, so relegation and the consequent financial uncertainty are the last things they need.

‘We understand how important it is for us to stay in the league, but no one gets a free ticket,’ said Lampard. ‘There are things I see long-term that I want to change to make the club better and I’ve had great support in that.

‘West Ham have struggled against relegation, they now have a fantastic manager and one of the best young players in the world from their academy in Declan Rice, but all these things you have to work for.’

Redknapp had experience of relegation battles at Portsmouth, Southampton and West Ham

Redknapp had experience of relegation battles at Portsmouth, Southampton and West Ham

Lampard, who is boosted by the return of England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin from injury, spent his career at the top table but can speak to people with experience of relegation pressure.

His assistant Paul Clement was manager of Swansea when they went down and Redknapp had experience of relegation battles at Portsmouth, Southampton and West Ham.

‘The smartest managers make things sound simple,’ Lampard said. ‘Whenever I speak to Harry, it’s “What do you think about this situation because you were there with Portsmouth?”’

Lampard, 43, says he’s been through enough to cope with the pressure. ‘The play-offs at Derby were pretty stressful. I remember the first year at Chelsea, we were desperate to come fourth and it was touch and go up to the last game.

Everton are boosted by the return of England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin from injury

Everton are boosted by the return of England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin from injury

‘I understand what is on it for the club here so there is a real level of intensity for that.’

Everton have taken seven points out of nine in their last three home games under Lampard.

‘I see a group here at Everton that are really good lads trying to stay in the league,’ the manager said. 

‘We need to keep that spirit because spirit in football is a huge thing. At the minute the lads are very together and fighting together and I need to lead that.’

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