Everton manager Frank Lampard goes head-to-head with Ange Postecoglou at Accor Stadium on Sunday accepting of the knowledge that the Celtic boss is being lined up to take his job.
Lampard’s Toffees meet Postecoglou’s Hoops in not only the highlight of the Sydney Super Cup, but a match that has gained more attention since news emerged this week of Everton’s reported interest in the former Socceroos coach.
Under Lampard, Everton is struggling in 17th place on the English Premier League table.
It’s continuation of last season’s battle, with the Toffees having narrowly avoided relegation following a tumultuous campaign that included the January sacking of manager Rafa Benitez and the subsequent appointment of Lampard.
In contrast, Postecoglou led Celtic to last season’s Scottish title, as well as success in the Scottish League Cup.
Further premiership glory seems inevitable this season with the Hoops already nine points clear at the top of the table.
Postecoglou’s success has seemed to linked to other Premier League jobs, with the Toffees’ post the latest position that his name has been associated with.
However, Lampard, who was sacked by Chelsea in January 2021, isn’t concerned, saying experience had taught him to take such speculation in his stride.
“When you take this job you understand that talk is going to come, particularly if you take on a job like Everton, and where we were last season,” the former England international midfielder said.
“There’s a bit of a process to try to get us back to where we want to be, The Premier League’s so competitive it means that you go through these patches.
“I’m pretty good at not paying too much attention to (coaching rumours), just understanding what it is.
“You go from one week from being best manager in the world after an amazing result to (the opposite) – it can go both ways.
“It’s fine. I’m fortunate to do the job I do, and I’m fortunate to have had a really long playing career. It gives me good context. I try to stay pretty level headed.
Lampard said it was a “privilege” to bring Everton to Australia.
“It’s a really huge club, with a rich history and a passionate fan base. I’ve really enjoyed being there,” he said.
Lampard said the Toffees would “respect” Celtic but focus on themselves and use the Sydney Super Cup – which includes his side’s clash against the Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium – as a chance to rediscover some form ahead of the Premier League’s post-World Cup resumption on Boxing Day.
“It gives us a bit of time to reboot and get fresh – I’m quite happy with the break,” he said.
Everton will face a wounded Celtic side desperate for redemption following Thursday night’s shock 2-1 loss to Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.
It was a defeat that left Postecoglou seething.
“I’m not here on a holiday,” the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory coach said.
“I’m not going to be getting a boat on (Sydney) Harbour. We’ll be back to work.
“We set a standard, we set expectations and levels, and if we fall below that, then it’s disappointing, irrespective of the circumstances, or what the environment is, or what the competition is.”