'It Was Needed' Calvert-Lewin On Benitez Dismissal And Lampard's 'Aura'

'It Was Needed' Calvert-Lewin On Benitez Dismissal And Lampard's 'Aura'
By Jonathan Byrne

Everton are in a dire situation at the moment - just one point off the relegation zone in the Premier League. But it hasn't been helped by the absence of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The England international, who turns 25 this month, has been sidelined for most of the season due to a fractured toe which has limited him to eight league appearances.

Things have been fairly dramatic at Goodison Park this season following the media circus around Rafa Benitez's dismissal and the appointment of a new manager.

Frank Lampard has renewed some optimism in the Everton faithful but has a tough task on his hands. Calvert-Lewin spoke to Sky Sports about some of the darker days this season.

"The results not being great just made me want to return and help the team but I think I set unrealistic expectations of myself and that was difficult to deal with mentally," he said.

"I came back into the team when momentum was going against us but there is a buzz again now with the new manager here."

"When things go wrong continually it can create an atmosphere that is hard to shake off and a change is needed. I think that was needed."

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Everton's Premier League survival chances were hampered by a refereeing decision at the weekend, as a handball by Manchester City's Rodri failed to go to VAR.

Mike Reilly, Head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, personally apologised to the club and Lampard over the handling of the situation on Sunday.

Calvert-Lewin Comeback

Everton have missed Calvert-Lewin's firepower this year. He's scored 36 goals in all competitions over the last two seasons, and they'll be keen to have him back fit and healthy.

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While he's preparing to return to the pitch at 100%, he says he spends limited time on social media apps and is working on improving his game in the long term.

"I can always improve my left foot so I start with that," he said. "It is about fine-tuning now. You have to analyse your game. I am always thinking about how to be as game-effective as I can possibly be."

"I think a lot about my movement and how I might be able to exploit this particular back four or that back five. Why am I moving there to go there? I take it very seriously."

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The addition of Lampard as a leader in the dressing room is welcomed by Calvert-Lewin, who says he long admired him at Chelsea as a kid growing up.

"He was someone I watched score every week. I was a goalscoring midfielder for a lot of my youth until I was 17. For a long time in my younger days that was the player who I thought I was going to be."

"I ended up being a centre-forward but I am just as excited to see what he can teach me. His aura is a massive thing. You cannot teach it but you know when someone has got it."

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Everton face the challenge of Boreham Wood in the FA Cup on Thursday. They travel to London for an intriguing Monday Night Football match at Tottenham a few days after.

See Also: 8 Things We Learned From Week Two Of The League Of Ireland

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