Dele Alli must power through the mental barrier to rediscover his form for Everton otherwise his wasted potential will be a "tragedy", according to Toffees great Neville Southall.

England international Alli ended a seven-year spell with Tottenham to move to Goodison Park in January, with the midfielder signing a two-and-a-half-year deal in what was reported as an initial free transfer.

Everton will reportedly be obliged to pay £10million for the midfielder after he makes 20 appearances and subsequent performance-based add-ons may take the eventual figure as high as £40m.

The 25-year-old is yet to find his feet on Merseyside, while a torrid run of form has left Everton just one point above the relegation zone after earning only 12 points since the start of October.

However, former Toffees goalkeeper Southall told Sky Sports News on Monday how talented Alli could be if Frank Lampard can help him regain his confidence.

"It's difficult. He's obviously not ready. There's something in his head that he can't get through the barrier, that means he can't get on the pitch or there's something missing at the moment," he said of Alli.

"It takes some people a long time. If Dele Alli gets back to being Dele Alli, he'll be a bargain. If Dele Alli doesn't come back, it'll be a tragedy. It'll be a tragedy for the lad, and that's all I'm concerned about, is that he finds himself and his happiness and that will show on the pitch.

"At the moment he looks reasonably happy but he's not played for such a long time, it's a difficult choice for Frank Lampard, does he put him in, risk an injury, is he 100 per cent fit?

"He's certainly not match fit, so for me it's about maybe not using him and getting him ready for next season, give him a break from the pressure, and he comes back and is what he is because everyone needs Dele Alli when he's at it."

Alli is yet to start for his new club in the Premier League, making six appearances as a substitute for his 169 minutes, while he does not have a goal or assist to his name.

He has created five chances this season for Everton from his limited opportunities on the pitch, which is in stark contrast to his best seasons at Spurs.

Alli's best campaign in north London came in 2016-17, when he scored 22 goals in 50 appearances across all competitions, averaging a goal every 182 minutes. He followed that up with 29 direct goal involvements (14 goals, 15 assists) in the 2017-18 campaign.

That ensured a prominent role for Alli at the 2018 World Cup, where England reached the semi-finals, and former manager Mauricio Pochettino went as far as describing him as the best young player in the world.

Lampard will be hoping he can tap into that potential as Everton battle the drop, with their next fixture coming at home to Manchester United on Saturday.

Frank Lampard is finding it tough going but should be able to keep Everton in the Premier League, according to former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Since his appointment at the end of January, Lampard has lost seven of nine league games with the Toffees, a sticky start to his assignment at Goodison Park.

The poor run has continued a trend that began under predecessor Rafael Benitez, who got a tune out of the squad in the early weeks of the season before Everton hit bum note after bum note.

It means that Everton could be relegated for the first time in the Premier League era, given they sit just one point above third-bottom Burnley going into their final nine games of the season.

They have Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea coming up in the next five games, along with two matches against Leicester City, and Everton appear to have only downwards momentum for now.

Eriksson had Lampard as a key figure in his England teams for Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, and got to know the man as well as the player.

And while the veteran Swede has not been convinced by every step Lampard has taken so far in his coaching career, notably during his time at Chelsea, he can see the 43-year-old guiding Everton to safety.

"Lampard got tough and strange when he had Chelsea. And I think maybe too early he took one of the biggest teams in Premier League and in Europe," Eriksson said. "Because it's not easy to come straight from a player to make a coach. Especially in the club you've been playing in, so I felt sorry for him.

"And now Everton, they're fighting, but Everton will stay, they will not go down."

Eriksson was speaking to Stats Perform ahead of Everton's defeat at Burnley on Wednesday evening, when a 3-2 loss compounded the team's recent poor form.

Lampard has lost all five of his top-flight away games in charge of Everton, making him the first manager to lose his first five away matches at a Premier League club since Jan Siewert at Huddersfield Town in 2019, who lost his first seven.

Now 74, Eriksson in his England days strove to find a system in which Lampard and Steven Gerrard could thrive. It would be a struggle for subsequent England bosses too, with both players having such attacking instincts from central midfield that it led to many a selection conundrum. Eriksson would instruct one to sit back when the other went forward, in an effort to ensure gaps were not left for the opposition to exploit.

Few doubted the qualities of either man on the pitch, but they are having to prove themselves in a management capacity now, and many playing greats have failed to establish such careers.

With Gerrard at mid-table Aston Villa, after a successful spell in Rangers, it remains to be seen whether there is room in the Premier League for both men next season.

Eriksson said: "I'm very happy to see them both. And I could imagine that both of them would be coaches in the future when I had them as players because they are both extremely, extremely intelligent as football players and as human beings, but they know football.

"They were not one of those players just going out playing and saying, ‘Give me the ball’, or whatever it is. No, tactically, they were very, very strong.

"For me, they played together in the midfield. They could attack, both of them. They could defend, both of them. So, if one went the other one stayed, and it's a pleasure.

"I'm sure both of them will have good career. And you can almost take a bet that when [Jurgen] Klopp is finished at Liverpool who's going to have that job. I'm quite sure that Steven Gerrard will be a strong contender for that."

Burnley came from behind to keep their Premier League survival hopes alive on Wednesday, with a piece of Premier League history not enough for fellow strugglers Everton to avoid a 3-2 defeat at Turf Moor.

Maxwell Cornet's 85th-minute winner proved the difference, making this the first defeat for Everton from a winning position at half-time since December 2019.

Following Nathan Collins' opening goal, Richarlison's two penalties in the first 45 minutes also made for the first time in Premier League history an away team had scored two penalties in the opening period.

Burnley only took 12 minutes to equalise in the second half, however, after Charlie Taylor skipped past Jonjoe Kenny to provide the assist for Jay Rodriguez.

Cornet was on hand to score the late winner after Everton failed to clear their lines, bringing 18th-placed Burnley within a point of the Toffees and Premier League safety.

The win is only the fourth in the league for Sean Dyche's side this season, breaking a four-game losing streak.

Burnley came from behind to keep their Premier League survival hopes alive on Wednesday, with a piece of Premier League history not enough for fellow strugglers Everton to avoid a 3-2 defeat at Turf Moor.

Maxwell Cornet's 85th-minute winner proved the difference, making this the first defeat for Everton from a winning position at half-time since December 2019.

Following Nathan Collins' opening goal, Richarlison's two penalties in the first 45 minutes also made for the first time in Premier League history an away team had scored two penalties in the opening period.

Burnley only took 12 minutes to equalise in the second half, however, after Charlie Taylor skipped past Jonjoe Kenny to provide the assist for Jay Rodriguez.

Cornet was on hand to score the late winner after Everton failed to clear their lines, bringing 18th-placed Burnley within a point of the Toffees and Premier League safety.

The win is only the fourth in the league for Sean Dyche's side this season, breaking a four-game losing streak.

Everton's players are in "dreamland" and the squad are suffering from a significant lack of leadership, says Tim Howard.

Frank Lampard's team lost again on the road on Sunday, going down 2-1 to West Ham in another blow to their chances of staying up.

Just three points separate Everton from the bottom three, and the Toffees still have to face fellow strugglers Burnley and Watford away from home, where they have taken just six points all season.

Since the start of October, Everton have won the fewest points in the top flight (12) and are the only side in the division to not win an away game in that timeframe (P11 D2 L9), while Lampard is the club's first manager in the Premier League era to lose his first four away matches in charge of the club in the competition.

Mason Holgate's deflected strike restored parity at the London Stadium after Aaron Cresswell's free-kick put West Ham ahead, yet Michael Keane and Alex Iwobi then combined to undo Everton's hard work.

Michail Antonio pounced on the error and Jarrod Bowen scored from the resulting rebound. Keane – captain of Everton in the absence of Seamus Coleman – later received a second yellow card for a lunge on striker Antonio.

Howard, who played under current West Ham manager David Moyes during a nine-year stint at Goodison Park, was angered by what he saw from Everton's players at full-time.

"I don't see a leader on this team. I see smiles. I see them losing again and I see smiles after the whistle," said Howard, who is a pundit on the USA Network.

"I see no urgency, no one running to get the ball, chasing it, kicking up the pitch. It's as if they're in dreamland that they're not in this thing.

"[There is] lack of leadership. Three red cards in the last three games. You have to basically say to each other, 'We can't even win a game with 11 players, don't you dare get sent off', and it just keeps happening."

Everton have had a player sent off in each of their last three Premier League games, matching a record in the competition for successive matches by a team with a player having been shown red. It had previously occurred on 10 occasions.

Lampard was only given his marching orders three times across his entire Premier League playing career, and Everton are the first Premier League side to have a player see red in three games in a row since Watford in December 2017.

Everton have made eight errors leading to goals in the Premier League, at least three more than any other team this season, and Howard questioned why Keane – who picked up his first booking for fouling Antonio before half-time – was even kept on the pitch by Lampard.

"You have to protect your team, knowing that it was a rash challenge, he hasn't been in the best of form," Howard said.

"He's giving you the right opportunity to say, 'Sorry Michael, you're coming off, I have to put somebody on who I know can finish the game'."

While West Ham boosted their hopes of pushing for the Champions League, Everton stay 17th, with that huge Burnley clash at Turf Moor next up on Wednesday.

Everton lost Donny van de Beek to injury in the warm-up, with Lampard confirming the on-loan midfielder would be assessed before the trip to face the Clarets.

Everton have endured a nightmarish season and currently find themselves in the Premier League's relegation scramble.

The Toffees are sitting only three points above the relegation zone, despite two games in hand on 18th-placed Watford.

Just as pertinent is their financial situation, which will reportedly force them into having to sell one of their most valuable assets.

TOP STORY – EVERTON TO CHOOSE BETWEEN RICHARLISON AND CALVERT-LEWIN

The Sun is reporting Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin will have to leave Everton in order for the club to balance their books.

Their latest figures revealed a £121million loss in the last financial year, and one of the two strikers will now have to be sold.

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are Everton's two highest goal scorers still at the club since the latter arrived in 2016. The Brazilian has scored 47 in 142 appearances in all competitions, while the former Sheffield United man has tallied 55 in 180 games.

Richarlison is a reported target for Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Arsenal apparently keeping a close eye on Calvert-Lewin's situation.

ROUND-UP

– England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has told Leeds United he wants to sign a new contract, potentially warding off interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle, per The Mirror.

– According to ESPN, Anthony Martial could be used to create a package deal from Manchester United for Tottenham's Harry Kane .

– Le Parisien report N'Golo Kante turned down an offer to leave Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain in January.

Milan have cooled on Real Madrid's Marco Asensio due to the 26-year-old's wage demands, as reported by Tuttosport.

Rafael Benitez had a "bad philosophy" and was never a good fit for Everton, according to Lucas Digne.

France international Digne left Everton in January, joining Aston Villa.

That move came after a falling-out with Benitez, with reports claiming that Digne – who did not feature for Everton after a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on December 1 last year – had criticised the manager's conservative approach.

With Everton signing Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv, Digne was sold to Steven Gerrard's Villa for a reported £22million, less than a year after the left-back had signed a long-term contract with the Toffees, who he joined from Barcelona in 2018.

Yet less than a week after the switch to Villa had been finalised, Benitez was sacked after a defeat to Norwich City left Everton six points above the bottom three following a run of one win in 13 league games.

In an interview with L'Equpie, Digne did not hold back in his criticism of Benitez.

"I enjoyed three and a half years of happiness and love with the supporters," said the 28-year-old. "I had, and still have, a great relationship with them, with people at the club, my former team-mates.

"But I don't look back. Football is like that. One day everything's fine, and the next day, less so."

Regarding Benitez, Digne said: "The relationship we had was not good. It was complicated to be excluded from the squad for a month. It was an unprecedented situation in my career, but I had my family and my team-mates with me."

He said disagreement with Benitez concerned "the style of play, especially".

"I thought we had a team that could have a lot more possession. He asked me the question, I gave him my answer," Digne said. "I felt it legitimate to give him my feelings and those of the others in the dressing room. The group was unanimous. What followed proved me right, since he was fired because of poor results. I think he also had a bad philosophy. It didn't fit at Everton."

Benitez also suggested that Digne had informed him he did not wish to play for Everton, but this claim has also been refuted.

Digne said: "I never refused to play."

Matters have hardly improved for Everton under Frank Lampard, given they are just three points above the bottom three, albeit with games in hand on their rivals.

Gareth Southgate insists Jordan Pickford has "always played well" for England and backed the Everton goalkeeper to continue as the Three Lions' number one.

Pickford's place in Southgate's side has been called into question throughout his time as first choice, though the form of Aaron Ramsdale for Arsenal this season has resulted in increased examination of who deserves to play between the posts.

Everton's form has not helped, with the Toffees struggling in 17th place in the Premier League and having conceded the joint fifth-highest number of goals in the competition this season (47).

Pickford, meanwhile, has conceded 44 of those goals, from 25 appearances. Even if he has been a relatively consistent performer in a disappointingly inconsistent Everton side, only three Premier League goalkeepers have conceded more so far this season, though the 28-year-old has been kept busy, with his 85 saves ranking as the sixth-highest.

His save percentage of 65.9 is the seventh-lowest of goalkeepers to have featured at least 10 times in the top flight, and is way down compared to Ramsdale's impressive 76.3 per cent.

Pickford has, however, slightly overperformed his expected goals on target conceded (xGOT), by 0.6, though Ramsdale again comes out top in this metric, with a goals prevented figure of 3.3.

 

Yet on the international stage, Pickford is still Southgate's undisputed number one. He made three saves as England came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday, including a stunning stop from Fabian Frei when the visitors were 1-0 up.

"He's always played well for us and he has a good focus with us," Southgate told a news conference.

"He has a very good relationship with [goalkeeper coach] Martyn Margetson, who I think does an excellent job with him. So, he knows the structure around him. He knows clearly how we want him to play.

"There is competition for everybody's position and that's what we want. We don't want people just sitting, thinking confidently that there's no competition that doesn't help a team.

"I think the form of the other goalkeepers is important. But he showed again, big saves at important moments."

Pickford has kept 20 clean sheets from 43 England appearances, conceding 32 times and not making a single error that has resulted in a goal.

Indeed, at Euro 2020, he kept five clean sheets – more than any other goalkeeper – while his save percentage (88.9) was also the best in the competition.

 

"I thought he was very calm with the ball," added Southgate. "That allowed us to relieve the pressure by going back and out of the press.

"Of course, he's got every club in the bag because he can go long, which is a problem for teams as well. So a very good performance from him, especially the saves in the first half."

The Premier League statistics this season do not back up claims of Pickford's reliable distribution, however, with his passing accuracy of 48.9 per cent ranking the third worst of goalkeepers with over 10 Premier League appearances.

That data could be skewed slightly by the fact that only Burnley's Nick Pope has attempted more long passes this season (581 compared to 544), with Everton have preferred a more direct approach under previous manager Rafael Benitez.

An Everton fan who threw a bottle that struck Aston Villa player Matty Cash has been handed a four-year football banning order and suspended prison sentence.

Roger Tweedle was also given 100 hours of community service after he hurled a bottle of Lucozade towards the pitch in the game at Goodison Park in January, which Villa won 1-0.

The incident occurred in first-half stoppage time as Villa's players celebrated Emi Buendia's headed opener, which proved to be the only goal of the game.

Several objects were thrown, with one bottle hitting Cash in the face, though he was able to continue playing.

Everton confirmed shortly after the game that they had identified the supporter and the matter was being dealt with by Merseyside Police.

Tweedle was arrested by police officers, later saying when interviewed that he was "not very happy" that Villa players had been celebrating in front of the home fans.

The 19-year-old pleaded guilty on Monday at Sefton Magistrates' Court to throwing a missile towards the playing area, as well as admitting common assault against Cash, and was sentenced to eight weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of £200, as well as £85 in costs and £128 to a fund for victims of crime.

Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira are the latest inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Former Man Utd striker Rooney and ex-Arsenal captain Vieira are the first names included as automatic picks in the class of 2022.

Six more players are set to join them by a public vote over the next fortnight, with the winners from a 25-player field of nominations to be announced in April.

Rooney – United's all-time leading goalscorer and second only to Alan Shearer in the competition's all-time list – won five Premier League trophies, while Vieira skippered the Gunners to three titles.

"It's a huge honour for me to be named in the Premier League Hall of Fame, alongside an incredible group of players who have already been inducted," Derby County boss Rooney said.

"Growing up, I watched the Premier League as far back as I can remember.

"To enter the Hall of Fame is very special for me personally and I'm grateful to be recognised."

Vieira, now back in the Premier League as manager of Crystal Palace, echoed Rooney's sentiments, adding: "Being inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame is a fantastic achievement.

"To be there with the best players in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is bigger than what I was ever thinking about.

"To have my name around those players makes me proud and makes me realise how good I was."

The Premier League of Hall Fame is in its second year of inception, having begun last year with an initial slate of eight honorees.

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham were inducted previously as the class of 2021.

Frank Lampard claimed there is a problematic "culture" at Everton that will require "huge" work to fix following his side's FA Cup thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace.

The Toffees were beaten 4-0 at Selhurst Park in Sunday's quarter-final as Lampard became the third manager to lose each of his first four away games in charge of the club and the first since 1956.

Everton lost Andros Townsend to injury after a bright start, and once Marc Guehi had headed in the opener after 25 minutes, their resistance seemed to crumble.

Jean-Philippe Mateta made it 2-0 before half-time, with Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes doubling Palace's lead in the final 11 minutes to complete a resounding win.

Everton were jubilant on Thursday after Alex Iwobi's injury-time goal sealed a valuable victory over Newcastle United, but they have now lost nine of their 11 matches in 2022 and conceded 16 goals in five consecutive away losses.

Just three points separate them from Watford in the Premier League relegation zone and, despite having two games in hand, manager Lampard is worried about their predicament.

When asked how big the task facing him is, Lampard told ITV Sport: "Huge, huge, because some things I saw there and in our last away game are intrinsic. They're in there, they're in the culture, and they don't turn with the flick of a switch. They turn with a lot of hard work and character.

"I'm certainly up for that. I believe the players are up for that, but they have to show that in games, and they have to show a reaction in games to do things better.

"We could've been much more comfortable today, as in contesting that game to the end. That's where we should be. The way that we handled bits within the game, without Palace playing particularly well, allowed them a free pass into the semi-final, as far as I'm concerned."

Lampard did not think Palace had to play particularly well in order to progress to the final four.

"Every time we concede, our heads go down and we get worse," he said. "Did Palace have to be good to beat us today? No.

"I'm not disrespecting Palace; I've come here with Chelsea teams and seen Zaha give us problems, [Eberechi] Eze give us problems, Conor Gallagher is one of the best players in the league this year. None of that happened today, and we lost 4-0.

"The dream of getting to Wembley and playing in a semi-final and final has gone. As far as I'm concerned, the biggest prize always this year was, can we stay in the Premier League? That's the focus now."

To compound Everton's problems, it appears Townsend could be facing a lengthy spell out of action after injuring his knee.

"He got his feet caught in the turf. It looks a bad knee injury. I'm devastated for him," Lampard added.

"I don't think it will be weeks. I'll reserve judgement until we find out more. It'll be more than that."

Crystal Palace joined Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals as they thrashed Everton 4-0 on Sunday.

Frank Lampard's Everton headed to Selhurst Park on the back of a morale-boosting and much-needed league win over Newcastle United yet despite a bright start they crashed out of the cup.

Palace's 3-1 win over Everton in December in the Premier League was their first against the Toffees in 14 matches and they were well on their way to another thanks to first-half goals from Marc Guehi and Jean-Philippe Mateta.

Patrick Vieira's team were hardly troubled after the break, and they capped off progression in style thanks to late goals from Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes.

Everton might have been ahead inside the opening minute, but Ben Godfrey just failed to meet Michael Keane's scuffed shot.

Guehi survived a penalty claim after his sloppiness allowed Richarlison to pounce, though Everton's bright start was punctured when former Palace winger Andros Townsend suffered an apparent knee injury.

Palace made that break count, with the unmarked Guehi heading in from Olise's inswinging corner.

Zaha missed a great chance teed up by Mateta, yet the latter made no mistake when Palace's talisman returned the favour, drilling home first-time from a brilliant cutback, and only a last-ditch Seamus Coleman tackle prevented the striker doubling his tally before the break.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was introduced at half-time, yet he had managed just eight touches by the time Demarai Gray went close in the 66th minute.

There was precious little quality to the visitors' play despite their precarious position and their FA Cup exit was confirmed in fittingly humbling fashion as a sliced Olise strike hit the post and fell for Zaha to nudge home.

Hughes similarly tapped into an empty net for Palace's fourth to the delight of a jubilant home crowd.

Frank Lampard called for greater consistency in the use of VAR in the Premier League, as Everton midfielder Allan's three-match suspension for a red card against Newcastle United was upheld.

Allan was initially cautioned for a clear tactical foul on Allan Saint-Maximin at Goodison Park on Thursday, but Craig Pawson upgraded the decision to a red after VAR advised the referee to review the touchline monitor.

Alex Iwobi proved the late hero to secure a vital 1-0 win for Everton in a clash that was paused due to a protestor tying himself to a goalpost early in the second half, though the Toffees were not as fortunate two weeks earlier when VAR failed to spot a handball by Manchester City's Rodri that would have provided a late penalty for Lampard's side in a 1-0 defeat.

Speaking prior to the announcement that Everton were unsuccessful in having Allan's red rescinded or his three-game ban reduced, Lampard had vented his frustrations at the use of technology in officiating.

"There are question marks over VAR. I understand the human side and I don't want to bang the drum about that," Lampard told reporters at a news conference on Friday when asked about Allan's dismissal.

"There will be faults in it because we are human. I make mistakes as a manager, the players make mistakes, this is the world we live in and we don't want to get rid of the system, but it is the consistency. I'm very happy to have those conversations. We have to have them to move forward."

Allan will miss Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace and Premier League matches against West Ham and Everton's fellow strugglers Burnley.

Everton manager Frank Lampard revealed he broke his hand celebrating his side's remarkable 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Thursday.

A hectic game lasted for 118 minutes due to a second-half delay when a protester attached himself to the Goodison Park goalposts and could not be removed.

Everton, coming into the match outside the Premier League's bottom three only on goal difference, then had to play from the 83rd minute onwards with 10 men.

Allan was initially only booked for hacking down Newcastle substitute Allan Saint-Maximin, but the VAR advised Craig Pawson to revisit his decision, which he did – prompting howls of frustration among home players, staff and fans when the replay was shown on the big screen.

Everton had been on the back foot with 11 men and appeared ready to sit in and settle for a precious point, only for one final chance to present itself.

Seamus Coleman stole the ball from Saint-Maximin and fed Alex Iwobi, who traded passes with Dominic Calvert-Lewin before steering a low shot past Martin Dubravka for the second-latest winning goal since Opta's Premier League records began in 2006-07.

There were scenes of mass celebration both when the ball hit the net and when the final whistle belatedly blew, giving Everton their first win over Newcastle since December 2019 – albeit one that came at a cost for Lampard.

"I've broken my hand in the celebrations for the goal," Lampard told Amazon Prime, revealing a significant bruise. "It's a bit sore, a bit shaky, but I don’t care."

Prior to Thursday's win, Everton had earned only three points in six matches since Lampard's January appointment – more than Norwich City alone over that period. Newcastle's 16 points trailed only Liverpool.

"We were all waiting for this – a night of togetherness and fight and spirit," Lampard explained.

Indeed, rather than take credit for any calls he made in a game that saw Newcastle win the shot count 17-9 and dominate 61.6 per cent of the possession, the Toffees boss attributed the victory to a brilliant atmosphere on Merseyside.

I don't think it's my formations or cleverness that will keep us up," he said. "It's part of the bigger picture, but it's people and the players that will keep us up, and the fans when we get together.

"I thought the start of the game was a bit special. I know I'm new to this, an evening game at Goodison, but you could feel the crowd.

"Maybe they had a couple of pints of Guinness for St Patrick's Day. Fair play, we need that. We need them behind us.

"If we get out of this it's together, the fans and the players played their part."

Everton's Premier League contest against Newcastle United was temporarily halted on Thursday after a protester tied himself to a goalpost.

Wearing a shirt with the slogan "Just Stop Oil" emblazoned on it, the protester cable tied themselves to the post, causing a lengthy delay.

The move failed to garner support from those in attendance, with a steward needing to find pliers in order to detach the cable from the goal frame, before he was eventually carried away by police.

The campaign group Just Stop Oil claimed responsibility for the actions, posting on Twitter: "BREAKING: Just Stop Oil supporter locks on to goalpost during Everton vs Newcastle United game."

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