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SPORTS UPDATE

Iwobi upbeat about Everton’s chances

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi is convinced Frank Lampard and his coaching crew at Everton are still the best group to lead the Merseysiders to an improved showing this season.

The Nigeria international was reacting to Everton’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal yesterday at the M&T Bank Stadium, the home of NFL side Baltimore Ravens, the Gunners romped to victory courtesy of two first-half goals.

Gabriel Jesus, a £45 million buy from Manchester City, opened the scoring in the 33rd minute before supplying the assist for Bukayo Saka to net the second three minutes later.

Iwobi did not start the encounter but was introduced at the break as one of 11 changes made by manager Frank Lampard

Everton endured a difficult 2021-22 season, escaping relegation by the finest of margins.

“It was a very tough season – mentally and physically. This is a fresh start. We go again, a new start, a new season.

“The manager can implement the ideas that he wants with us, rather than just trying to win games by any means.

“It’s pre-season and he’s going to experiment and explore the players we have. We have time to work on that and we have a lot of trust in him, so we’re feeling good and confident that we will do well this season.

“In my short time back – I’ve only been back for a week – but they’ve got a lot of ideas.

“The main thing for them, before they focus too much on the ideas, is making sure that we’re fit and ready to do what they expect us to do. So far, so good, but the work continues.”

Iwobi featured in 28 Premier League matches, scoring two goals and providing two assists. The 26-year-old played a crucial role in helping Everton avoid the drop to the Championship.

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