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Let’s Create Electric Occasion To Underline Everton Love

Good afternoon.

It is vital nobody approaches a very difficult match today thinking our hard work is already done.

The past three games have changed the picture for us, no question about it. But it would be dangerous and wrong to think we’re immune from a swing the other way.

That isn’t to begin on a negative, just to sound a note of caution – and stress the importance of repeating all the positive elements of the past fortnight when we play Brentford this afternoon.

Everything we did here against Chelsea a fortnight ago, on and off the field, set a standard for what Everton should represent at Goodison Park.

Our football must reflect your principles, spirit and expectations. That means playing with intensity, aggression and ambition, having each other’s backs and sticking to our gameplan.

My thinking on the dynamic between a football team and its supporters is clear. It is on us to shape the mood and atmosphere with our attitude and hunger on the pitch.

But you have been so influential in a special couple of weeks and it is only right I make a prominent mention of that.

Frank Lampard

Our football must reflect your principles, spirit and expectations. That means playing with intensity, aggression and ambition, having each other’s backs and sticking to our gameplan.

It is extraordinary, what you are doing – and I choose the word extraordinary carefully. There is nothing ordinary or normal about the ferocity and scale of your support.

I said following the game at Leicester I’d never known anything like the backing you are providing your team in this enormously significant period in our club’s history.

From the moment our coach moved within sight of Goodison prior to the Chelsea match, your support reached another level.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as we squeezed down Goodison Road, so imagine the motivation and confidence that flowed through the players following that reception.

I will reiterate, the players know what Everton means to you.

But to see that passion close-up was breathtaking, the emotion and desire was written across your faces and gave the players a nice reminder about the privilege and responsibility of representing this club.

We were staggered by the send-off when we left for Leicester and could sense something special bubbling for the game.

But there was no way we could have anticipated the sustained noise from our corner of the ground. I was humming Spirit of the Blues all the way home.

At the risk of laboring a point, you cannot overstate the impact that level of unqualified support has on a footballer.

It strips away any fear and gives them a real enjoyment of what they are doing. It generates additional resilience, too. You stuck with the team after Leicester equalised, doubled down on your support, if anything, and the team reacted to that.

They kept their focus and continued to play with conviction and discipline.

We wanted to follow those three points with another win at Watford on Wednesday, especially with you following us in huge numbers again, so there was some disappointment that we came away with a draw.

I was pleased with the players’ intent, they never stopped trying to create the decisive opening. But we probably lacked a bit of zip in the final third, three days after a big effort at Leicester.

The past few days required a balance between recovery and preparation and that the squad was refreshed and ready to work towards another huge match today.

We welcome Thomas Frank and the staff and players of Brentford.

This is our second home game against Brentford in pretty quick succession and I wrote of my admiration for Thomas and the job he’s doing before our Cup tie in February.

If anything, my respect for Thomas and his team has grown over the past few months.

It would be easy to attribute Brentford’s excellent start to the season to the team and club riding the crest of a wave after promotion.

But there were a lot of questions asked of them following some difficult results and they have answered fantastically well. Brentford are well organised, competitive and imaginative. They will be tricky opponents.

We know you will create an electric, memorable occasion, once more, and I am asking the players to show they can deliver what is required again. Good teams are consistent and ruthless.

There’s not a person connected with Everton who would put up their hand at the start of a season for this scenario.

But together, we are moving towards our short-term priority of staying in the Premier League and, hopefully, laying the first building blocks for everything our club wants to achieve.

Now, let’s unite for another afternoon that underlines why we all love Everton so much.




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