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Avoiding Relegation Would Mean More Than Chelsea Titles Says Frank Lampard

Ryan Sidle

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Avoiding Relegation Would Mean More Than Chelsea Titles Says Frank Lampard

Featured Image Credit: PA

Frank Lampard has claimed that keeping Everton in the Premier League would mean more than all his titles won with Chelsea, because of the responsibility he feels.

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Lampard was brought in by Everton at the end of January, following the sacking of Rafa Benitez, just months after the former Liverpool boss was appointed.

The club were already in trouble at that point, in 16th place and just four points above the relegation zone, and Lampard has found it tough going this season.

The Toffees slipped into the bottom three a couple of weeks ago, thanks to their poor form and an upturn in fortunes for Burnley, but recent weeks have seen them jump back above the relegation zone and boost the mood at Goodison Park.

With four games left of their season, one more than their relegation rivals Burnley and Leeds United, they sit a point above the drop and Lampard has revealed that trying to stay up represents higher stakes than winning titles with Chelsea 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," the Everton boss said in his pre match press conference ahead of Wednesday's game with Watford.

"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.

"The economics of it are greater as well to a different degree and, individually, how you feel about it. The idea of what that will mean to the people who work here, and the fans how they feel about it, is heightened."

Lampard celebrates after his side beat Leicester City. Image: PA Images
Lampard celebrates after his side beat Leicester City. Image: PA Images

Things have looked bleak at times for the team from Merseyside, who are potentially still facing their first relegation from the Premier League, even after a win over Manchester United.

They have since beaten Chelsea, where Jordan Pickford pulled off an incredible save, and they then picked up their first away win since August when defeating Leicester City last Sunday.

During the bad times the manager did admit he contemplated whether he'd made the right decision returning to management, just over a year after being sacked by Chelsea.

"Possibly I could have waited [before returning to management]. I could have sat on my arse and done the bins for another six months at home . . . that has actually seemed quite appealing a couple times in the last few months," the 43-year-old said.

"But it would mean I wouldn’t be experiencing 3,300 fans performing like they did the other day [at Leicester], or coming to the training ground or turning up for the Chelsea game.

"You have to take the rough with the smooth. The feeling of that, understanding how big this club is and what it is on the line here has been a real huge thing for me.”

Everton players celebrate Vitaliy Mykolenko's goal against Leicester. Image: PA Images
Everton players celebrate Vitaliy Mykolenko's goal against Leicester. Image: PA Images

The Toffees will certainly boost their chances of staying up if they get another three points against already relegated Watford, who aren't happy with manager Roy Hodgson.

If it's any relief to them a Supercomputer has predicted that they will not only manage to avoid the drop they will also leapfrog Southampton into 15th.

That will certainly feel like a Premier League trophy to the Everton fans, even if they've not had the feeling to compare it to for quite some time.

Topics: Premier League, Frank Lampard, Chelsea, Everton

Ryan Sidle
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