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'The best man I've ever met' - Everton boss Lampard pays glowing dressing room tribute to Seamus Coleman

Lampard described Coleman as ‘the best man I’ve ever met’ after Everton ensured their Premier League survival in dramatic circumstances.

Updated May 21st 2022, 3:13 PM

THE EMOTION AND jubilation that squashed into the Everton dressing room on Thursday night has been caught on camera, with manager Frank Lampard paying generous testimony to his captain Seamus Coleman after the Toffees improbably secured their Premier League status with a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Crystal Palace. 

Everton needed a victory in their final home game of the season to guarantee safety ahead of the final day, and two first-half goals from Palace plunged them into trouble. Three goals after the break, however, sparked a couple of pitch invasions and mass celebrations at Goodison Park. 

The Everton players lingered on the pitch amid the celebrations before returning to the dressing room, when a frantic Lampard grabbed Coleman and paid tribute to him in front of the dressing room. 

“Thank you, thank you everyone”, said Lampard, addressing his squad before he grabbed Coleman and hauled him to his feet. 

“This fella, to say in front of everyone, is one of the best people I have ever met, as a man and what you are and as a player,” said Lampard, arm tightening around a slightly abashed Coleman. 

Later, in footage captured by Everton’s social media team, while posing for a photo with Coleman’s daughters, Lampard grinned, “Your Dad is the best man I’ve ever met in my life.” 

Speaking to the press, meanwhile, Lampard said Everton cannot allow themselves to be dragged into the situation they were in for most of this season, with their 68-year English top-flight stay under threat.

But he admits they cannot just take it for granted they can pick things up next season.

“What right does Everton have to be Premier League-safe every year and that will continue forever more?” he added, ahead of a consequence-free trip to Arsenal.

“There are a lot of decisions that have to be made and performances that we have to do and my job has to be done as well as it can be to make sure that happens.

“We were in that position because we deserved to be. It is important to say that.

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“It is a great feeling (to have escaped relegation) but the things we can do to make it better are things we have to work on and effect.”

The huge support from fans at Goodison Park was crucial in their survival but Lampard said they should not have to rely on that in future.

“I don’t think we can expect 10,000 people to turn up and parade us in every game. It doesn’t work that way,” he said.

“They have dragged us over the line with that kind of behaviour. But at the same time, we as a club need to start fresh from zero next season.

“It is a nice thing, especially for me, to come in with a pre-season and start at zero rather than looking downwards.”

 With reporting by PA 

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Gavin Cooney

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