Lampard insists he will stay ‘as long as Everton want me here’ despite relegation threat

Frank Lampard insists he is committed to being Everton manager for as long as the Premier League club wants.

The Toffees are battling their first relegation in 71 years and are two points clear of safety – who could become five, but with two games less – as they kick off at home against former club Lampard, Chelsea, Sunday.

Everton have won just three Premier League wins since the former England midfielder replaced Rafael Benitez at the end of January and a drop in the Sky Bet Championship is now a worrying reality.

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When asked if he would continue as manager if the team were relegated, Lampard said: “I don’t want to get carried away on this issue, but what I will say is that I have loved every minute at this club.

“I’ve been incredibly well received by the fans. I’ll give it all for as long as Everton want me here.

His job, however, was made slightly more difficult by the loss of defender Ben Godfrey for potentially the remainder of their relegation battle.

The defender injured a thigh muscle during the warm-up ahead of last weekend’s Merseyside derby defeat at Anfield and with fellow centre-back Yerry Mina who has just returned from over two months, the Godfrey’s absence is a blow.

“Ben is out and will be out for a few weeks,” added Lampard.

“We would like to get him back before the end of the season, but it will be a tight call.”

Lampard is also missing midfielders Donny Van De Beek (groin) and Andre Gomes, but will be able to call on striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose injury-plagued season continued as he missed both last matches.

Following the loss to Liverpool, the club wrote to Professional Game Match Officials Limited complaining about the way a penalty appeal against Anthony Gordon was handled.

It was the second time they had reason to take such a step, having received an apology from PGMOL boss Mike Riley last month after a potential penalty equalizer failed to be awarded. against Manchester City for a handball against Rodri.

But there was no such response this time.

Lampard said: “I didn’t expect there to be another, to have two excuses in critical games against the two strongest teams in the country. Against Manchester City which cost us a point in the day.

“Against Liverpool who knows what it costs us if we get a penalty and lead 1-0, it’s hard to assess.

“But those are things that can clearly affect you in a relegation battle.”

The FA also wrote to Lampard this week asking him to explain his comments on the refereeing in the derby.

“They wrote to me, I answered them. At this point, I haven’t heard anything else,” he said.