Everton: Frank Lampard is under more strain as a day that started out with hope ends in despair.

Everton.

Even though Saturday had the potential to change the course of Everton and Frank Lampard's season, it actually served as arguably their lowest point of yet another unsuccessful campaign.

Board members were advised to avoid the stadium because of fears for their safety during the visit of bottom-of-the-table Southampton, which the club described as "a profoundly sad day.".

Banners were put up before the game even started, and thousands of Everton supporters stayed long after the game was over to stage a sit-in. Protests had been planned for quite some time.

A victory and a strong showing would have eased the tense mood, but ultimately the Toffees suffered a devastating 2-1 loss that leaves them in second-to-last place and one point from safety.

There is still time for Everton to turn things around and pull off another escape, but there is no doubt that the fans are feeling hopeless as they see their team in this predicament once more.

However, there was a strong sense that the club's owners were behind the players in the days leading up to Saturday's game. This anger at the owners is the result of the club's struggles over several seasons and what fans perceive as poor board-level decision-making.

Huge crowds lined the streets around Goodison Park, letting off blue flares as the team coach arrived, in scenes reminiscent of last year, when fans were praised for serving as Everton's "12th man" in their fight to keep their Premier League status.

Amadou Onana, the Everton goal scorer, was the only player to receive applause as he entered the tunnel during the game's final moments. Before the game began, the crowd was enthusiastic as players entered the field.

Everton's header from Onana should have given them the boost they needed to continue playing and win, but once again their inability to finish a game was their undoing.

Only twice this season have Everton managed more than one goal in a game. They have only managed nine goals in their last 13 games.

Regarding his team's lack of an attacking threat, Lampard said, "We have to do better.".

"In terms of what a clinical threat can do in games, we've talked a lot about it. It can be difficult to not score enough goals because even though you can have strong stretches in games, if you are not scoring, the other team will remain in the game.

There is no doubt that it has caused us problems. ".

For Lampard, the statistics are unsettling to read.

Since October to December in 2021, when they lost eight straight games under Rafael Benitez, they have gone winless in their last seven Premier League games, their longest streak without a victory in the same season.

They have also dropped their last four Premier League home games, which is the first time they have done so since a run of seven losses from April to September 1958.

Since Lampard's appointment on January 31, 2017, there have been 20 losses in 37 league games.

Despite this, Lampard managed to turn around an underwhelming Everton team from the previous season and oversee crucial victories against Manchester United and Chelsea to ensure survival.

He intends to use that knowledge to help his side's fortunes turn around once more.

"I have the good fortune of having played the game for a very long time, and you get quite resilient to these things. It takes on a life of its own, according to Lampard. "I only want to help this club succeed.

"I've never wavered in my belief in my own abilities. I am aware that I am not a miracle worker and that I am not the world's greatest coach, but I also am aware that I will make every effort to be the best that I can be. ".

Farhad Moshiri, the owner of Everton, also seems confident in Lampard's skills after publicly endorsing him earlier this week.

What remains to be seen, however, is how long that will last after this particularly damaging loss.

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