'The Mood Has Shifted At Everton'

A more positive atmosphere is now emanating from Goodison Park following several morale-boosting home performances, says Adam Jones of the Liverpool Echo.
More on this story...

- Everton are the visitors to King Power Stadium on Sunday (2pm kick-off)
- The Toffees held Leicester City to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last month
- Liverpool Echo's Adam Jones assesses Everton's chances against the Foxes
- It is vital they pick up points in the race to stay in the Premier League, he says

The Toffees' next assignment is a trip to face Leicester City on Sunday, a 2pm kick-off at King Power Stadium, which comes seven days after a thrilling victory for Frank Lampard's side against his former club.

Just when the tide appeared to be turning back against the Blues, courtesy of Burnley's win at Watford, Everton secured what could prove to be a crucial three points, with the Goodison Park faithful playing their part in ending Chelsea's 10-game unbeaten streak on the road.

The Merseyside outfit have now won three of their last four at home, also beating Newcastle United and Manchester United by a solitary goal, before a 1-1 draw against the Foxes last month, contributing to a shift in the mood around the club.

"It's amazing how things can fluctuate over the course of 24 hours because that's what it felt like for Everton at the weekend," Jones told LCFC Radio's Matchday Live show this week. "After the Burnley result came the day before Everton played against Chelsea, there was a real negative vibe going around.

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Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

The former England international is fighting to keep Everton in the division and preserve their Premier League status.

"Burnley keep picking up these strong results but Everton managed to turn that around. Credit to the fans for how they set the mood with that welcoming of the coach. In all my time going to Goodison Park in 23 years, I've never seen anything like that outside.

"The atmosphere that they managed to create was absolutely incredible. The players stood up to it against Chelsea as well, a side with fantastic away form going into that game. The mood was really positive, but there's still that sense that things change quickly. I don't think anyone is getting ahead of themselves.

"Everton got a good result but are still in the relegation zone as things standings. Obviously they have a game in hand over both Leeds and Burnley, but when you're at that end of the table, you can't consider that game as three points, you've got to take each game as it comes.

"It's much better to have this positive atmosphere around the club at the minute."

Lampard will be aiming to transfer the positives from recent victories at Goodison Park when they arrive on Filbert Way, Jones believes. 

Lampard will take the positives out of that last away performance and will hope he can instil that onto his players this time around and make things as difficult as possible for Leicester.

Adam Jones Liverpool Echo Reporter

"Considering the away form that Everton have had over the course of this season, I don't think anybody is really confident of picking up points," the journalist admitted. "But three points would be vital. There have been a lot of strong home performances, but they haven't been able to take those forward in away games.

"I think that's been the issue for Everton this season. While they find themselves lifted by a strong atmosphere at Goodison, they do seem to let strong atmospheres away from home effect them detrimentally as well.

"Going into a match against Leicester at King Power Stadium, the atmosphere is always electric so it could be really tough for Everton, but Frank Lampard is just going to be focused on keeping as much of that momentum as possible.

"They played quite well against Liverpool, in the right manner, despite the result. If they'd have just knitted things together a little bit better in the final third, they might have been able to force something out of that game.

"Lampard will take the positives out of that last away performance and will hope he can instil that onto his players this time around and make things as difficult as possible for Leicester. If Everton can come out of this with a point, that could be absolutely vital with this fight they find themselves in."

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The man of the moment Richarlison celebrates his winner against Chelsea.

Richarlison netted the winner against Chelsea and the Brazilian has become a talismanic figure for Everton this term, scoring eight goals and contributing four assists, while also playing a key role in the system Lampard deploys, with youngster Anthony Gordon and former Foxes winger Demarai Gray often either side of the forward.

"He sets the tone for his team-mates," Jones added on the 24-year-old. "With how he attacks a game from those front positions, there's a lot of Everton fans who don't like seeing him line up as a central striker on his own because he gets too isolated in that position, he sees the ball a lot less.

"As he's a quality player and such an important player, you want to see him on the ball as much as you possibly can, so taking away the amount of touches that he has might be detrimental to the team.

"But, against Chelsea, he set up with Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray, sticking very close to Richarlison. We saw the benefits of that when Everton scored the only goal in that match, with the press for that mistake, and Everton took full advantage of that.

"He never seems to get tired. He can sprint about for 90 minutes and he really makes it difficult for defenders when he's in that mood because he presses them into positions that they don't want to be in. He can win the ball in situations that seem to be against him.

"That's where Richarlison is going to be key over the course of these last few games of the season."

All times BST.

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