Frank Lampard reacts to Stuart Attwell appointment after ‘huge’ decisions claim for Everton

Frank Lampard has had his say on the appointment of Stuart Attwell as referee for Everton’s clash against Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

The official was on VAR duty for the Blues’ game against Newcastle United on Thursday which saw fans angry at many decisions that went against their side. Top of that list was a red card for Allan as he brought down Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Brazilian’s tackle was initially given a yellow card by on-field official Craig Pawson, but after advice from Attwell to view his pitch-side monitor the referee brandished a red. Everton’s appeals to overturn or reduce the severity of their player’s punishment were both rejected on Friday.

However, Lampard is not concerned by Attwell personally. The manager respects the difficulty of the job for referees, and just hopes the official gets his decisions right on Sunday.

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The Everton boss remarked: “It’s not a Stuart Attwell question, it’s not an individual question. It’s just a feeling, and a strong feeling on our end, that two huge decisions have gone against us. It didn’t affect the game last night (Thursday) fortunately, but it will do going forward and Man City affected us intangibly, we probably get a point if we score the penalty.

“But I respect the referees and the roles they play. The job they have is so, so difficult but I just feel we’ve been let down in consistency and been on the wrong end of decisions personally. But that’s not a slant on Stuart Attwell at all, I just hope he gets decisions right on Sunday!”

The Blues were able to keep a clean sheet against Newcastle, for the first time since their victory over Leeds United in February. That pleased Lampard, and he particularly chose to focus on the performances of two defenders in particular.

He added: “All of them (the defenders) were great, with Begovic behind them as well. Ben Godfrey, to see the strength that he brings to playing slightly out of position – I know he’s played there before – but his strength has been a big plus for us in the last few games. There’s no doubt we missed him a great deal.

“But the lads centrally Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, it’s very easy in the modern day to absolutely hone in on individuals when you concede goals at the back of the pitch. The sort of lads they both are, they’ll hold their hands up about goals where they made mistakes, and that’s one thing I love.

“When you work with people that’s the one thing you want – can I get better? Show me how to get better. You can work together on that.

“So we’ve had chats, they’re open to that. The way they defended the box, their commitment and positioning, was brilliant – and it’s a template for us to keep clean sheets and we have to do that and go from there.”

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