Everton manager Frank Lampard has warned his players that they could be in for another Premier League relegation battle if they don’t improve following their humiliating loss to MLS side Minnesota United on Thursday.
The Toffees who avoided relegation last season by a small margin were beaten 4-0 by the MLS side, leaving Lampard worried that they could find themselves in another relegation battle next season unless they improve their form.
Everton conceded three times in the first half of their pre-season friendly and conceded a fourth 10 minutes from time to highlight what Lampard described as a ‘very poor performance individually and collectively’.
Speaking after the game, the Everton boss said he was eager to avoid a relegation scrap next season. However, he expressed his concerns and warned his players that they must move on from the emotions of surviving in the Premier League last season to be successful in the 2022-2023 campaign.
“The players have to work and understand we were in a relegation battle for a big portion of last season,” he said.
“We had an amazing night (against Crystal Palace) and an amazing run, but as soon as that finished, I put it to bed very quickly, so the players have to put it to bed as well because we were in that fight for a reason.
“And if we don’t want to be in that situation again, they have to be better and I have to be better. As a club, it (the Minnesota game) reinforced the situation in terms of what we need to do with the squad because it has to be stronger than what we saw tonight.’
“The players in the dressing room need to understand that they’ve put in a very poor performance individually and collectively.”
Lampard also shared his concerns about Everton’s attacking prowess as the Toffees have failed to score a single goal during their pre-season campaign. The former Chelsea manager admits their struggles in front of goal could be because of the sale of Richarlison who was sold to Tottenham this summer.
Speaking about their attacking ineptitude and Richarlison’s departure, Lampard said: “There is no doubt about it. When you think of where we were last year, we have lost a big player in Richarlison.
“We wish him well, but our club now continues. We know there is a void in forward areas. We are short in numbers there.
“Also, through the team, there are things I want to strengthen, and I can be honest about that because a club like Everton has to have a competitive squad.”