Former Everton striker Steven Naismith has stressed the club’s players “have a lot of responsibility to take on” by the end of the season as they try to overcome relegation.
The Toffees, who replaced boss Rafael Benitez with Frank Lampard in January, are currently 17th in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone and two games remaining against 18th Watford.
They secured a second win in seven league games under Lampard by beating Newcastle 1-0 at Goodison Park last Thursday before being beaten 4-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Scotland manager Naismith, who played for Everton from 2012 to 2016, told his old club at a press conference: “I think there are a couple of issues.
“The new manager is a good appointment because he seems cool and calm and doesn’t make hasty decisions. But at this stage of the season, there’s only so much you can change.
“There will be a huge burden on the players to dig deep and get the results required. The Newcastle game showed they got the crowd behind them at Goodison, who will be hugely important for the remainder of the season.
“No doubt they have good players but it brings out the best in them.
“The players have to take a lot of responsibility from now until the end of the summer, stay up and hopefully be able to regroup in the summer and put together a better challenge next season.”
Asked if the FA Cup defeat was damaging, Naismith said: “No, because the main priority is to get to safety and put together a set of results in the league.
“And the further you go on an FA Cup route, the more problems there can be. It’s great to be in the final stages of a cup but the priority for Everton is to get safe and rebuild. So I don’t think it will have that much of an impact in the next league game (at West Ham on April 3).
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/everton-players-must-take-responsibility-in-relegation-scrap-steven-naismith-41476027.html Everton players must take responsibility in relegation battle – Steven Naismith