(Reuters) – Everton manager Frank Lampard said support and “tough love” can help midfielder Dele Alli find his touch after an underwhelming start to life at Goodison Park.
Alli, 26, made just one start following his January switch from Tottenham Hotspur, failing to record a goal or an assist.
“It is possible to work with him on being a goalscorer,” Lampard told reporters ahead of Everton’s league opener at home to Chelsea on Saturday.
“He has an instinct to get in goalscoring positions, and we need to find ways to get him in those positions and probably give him confidence back as well. That’s the reason I brought him to the club.”
Everton will start the new campaign without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee problem, and Richarlison, who secured a move to Spurs in the close season.
Alli has scored just one league goal in the last two seasons and Lampard said he might need to hear some home truths to get him back on the scoring trail.
“I think it’s sometimes support and sometimes tough love,” added Lampard. “Sometimes you have to hear serious things to get the best out of yourself. Dele or any player that is.
“There must be something there which can be physical, or mental, and I think it’s important he has a support mechanism not just from me but from himself, the people around him, my staff and his team mates.”
Everton narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing 16th.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)