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SPORTS UPDATE

EPL: Lampard responsible for Everton’s relegation threat, says Benitez

Rafa Benitez has said his successor at Everton, Frank Lampard, must accept responsibility for their relegation battle.

The 62-year-old insists he does not rue his decision to join Everton, where fans quickly turned on him, exacerbated by his ties to Liverpool, and said the negativity of social media contributed to his sacking in January.

Benitez also declared Lampard must “assume responsibility” for their current relegation battle given the league position Benitez left Everton when the former Chelsea boss took over.

He stated to AS: “It was a decision with a certain logic at the time… but seems I was wrong. But I don’t see it that way. At that moment, Everton was a competitive team, we thought it would work. But when we left we were six points behind tenth, with two games less, and six points above relegation.

“It was a bad position for what was expected, but consistent and realistic with the investment and injuries. From there, we talk about patience, trust, but people get nervous, social media influences things and a decision is made.

“Once we left, Everton made five new signings, got all the players back and had a new manager, who had to assume his responsibility. We did well at the beginning, we were a bit unlucky later and we didn’t have time to keep doing things and adjust.”

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