Football: Moshiri backs Lampard amid Everton turmoil

Everton manager Frank Lampard applauds fans after the FA Cup match against Manchester United. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON – Everton owner Farhad Moshiri insisted on Wednesday that he remains supportive of under-fire manager Frank Lampard amid mounting calls for change in the dugout and the boardroom at the struggling English Premier League club.

An Everton supporters’ group wrote to Moshiri last Friday asking him to address their concerns about the club after the team’s slump into the relegation zone.

Lampard’s side are facing a second successive fight to avoid dropping into the Championship after narrowly surviving last term. They are currently 18th on 15 points.

The Toffees are without a win in their last eight games in all competitions and bowed out of the FA Cup in the third round after a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United last Friday.

Frustrated with the direction of the club under Moshiri and Lampard, Everton supporters are planning a sit-in protest after Saturday’s crucial league match against fellow strugglers Southampton at Goodison Park.

Moshiri moved to answer some of the scathing criticism when he backed Lampard in response to the Toffees’ Fans’ Forum letter.

“I have faith in the work being done not only by our manager but our director of football (Kevin Thelwell) and our board of directors,” he wrote.

“I am confident that we have skilled, experienced and focused professionals at all levels of the club.

“We are all agreed that our current league position must, and will, improve. The focus of myself, the club and the fans is aligned – a better Everton – and I am confident we can move forward in a constructive and positive manner.”

However, Moshiri’s letter may do little to ease tensions among fans, with the Fans’ Forum responding: “Our current situation is unacceptable. It’s time for a better Everton.”

Last week, Lampard admitted that he is not seeking reassurances over his job security but warned fans they face a “tough journey” in the battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

“My job is to focus day to day, game to game,” he said. “I came here nearly a year ago and my honest feeling was we were going in the direction of relegation.

“Evertonians have such passion for this club... It is going to be a tough journey; surviving a relegation battle is all well and good but it is a process... we need results.” AFP

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