Everton boss Frank Lampard warns his players that they can’t keep seeing red as they look to stay in the top-flight – with ‘historic’ night potentially in store against Crystal Palace at Goodison
- Relegation-threatened Everton have collected five yellow cards since mid-March
- Sunday’s home defeat by Brentford leaves little margin for error with two to play
- Frank Lampard needs to keep 11 players on the pitch despite the adrenaline rush
- The Toffees host Crystal Palace tonight before travelling to Arsenal on Sunday
Frank Lampard has told his Everton players to stay disciplined on a potentially ‘historic’ night at Goodison Park when a win would secure Premier League safety with a game to go.
Lampard has seen his struggling side collect five red cards since the middle of March including Jarrad Branthwaite and Salomon Rondon in Sunday’s home defeat by Brentford.
It leaves the Merseyside giants, who have received a league-high six red cards this season, with little margin for error — failure to beat Crystal Palace on Thursday night would take the relegation battle to the final day when they visit Arsenal.
Frank Lampard has told his Everton players to stay disciplined on a potentially ‘historic’ night
Jarrad Branthwaite saw red in the first-half for Everton against Brentford on Sunday
Goodison will be at its most raucous but Lampard is aware he needs to keep a full contingent on the pitch despite the inevitable adrenaline rush.
‘A lot of our red cards, apart from Rondon, weren’t reckless but in football if you are already on a yellow card, don’t dive in,’ he warned. ‘Don’t tug a shirt knowing that’s another yellow-card offence. We don’t want to be lunging in when we don’t need to.
‘It’s natural to understand the situation and want to get the right result but urgency is one thing, decision-making is another.
‘We’ll tap into the atmosphere but we need that balance. Of course we want to keep 11 players on the pitch.’
Everton fans will surround Goodison before kick-off to offer their players huge support in the club’s most important home game since 1994, when they beat Wimbledon on the final day to stay up.
Victory this time would leave Burnley and Leeds battling it out to avoid joining Norwich and Watford in the Championship next season.
Everton have proudly been in the top flight since 1954 and need to stay there with a costly move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock set for the 2024-25 season.
Substitute Salomon Rondon was also sent-off against Brentford due to a foolish lunge
‘Historically it could be a big night for us against Palace because we know the situation,’ admitted Lampard.
‘I’m not saying winning a relegation battle is cause for a big celebration but it is absolutely pivotal to the future of the club in the short term.
‘Football is about moments for players, staff and fans to come together and share something that means a lot.’
Lampard is glad to welcome back central defender Michael Keane from illness with Donny van de Beek and Ben Godfrey competing for places on the bench after injuries.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit to partner Richarlison up front but Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph miss out again.
Lampard hopes the night-time atmosphere will help push his team over the line to safety.
‘The fans have really dug in and pushed the team, and have shown what a powerful force that can be,’ he added.
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