Frank Lampard insisted he has drawn a line under the “mistake” that led to an apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley over the handling of a key incident in Everton’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Lampard referred Chris Kavanagh as a “professional who cannot do his job right” last Saturday after the VAR official failed to advise referee Paul Tierney over a handball by Rodri which would have given Everton a late penalty.
It is understood Riley, managing director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, called both Lampard and Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright to express his contrition for the errors made around the incident.
While Lampard still feels frustration, he says he has moved on, accepting it will not change a result that left his side dangling just one place and one point above the Premier League relegation zone.
“The apology from the referee’s side shows it was a mistake,” he said. “It was explained to me it was an absolute mistake. I struggle to understand how and why it happened but I can’t ask for anything more than what I’ve got.
“Even with the benefit of VAR the human element has gone against us. I hope that can change. I’m not asking for anything, it’s just when you have such a clear one against you it brings it up in your mind.
“We don’t get the point back which is critical for us and the position we’re in. There’s not much more to say now, you can’t change anything and I don’t want to be the manager who keeps banging on about it weeks after the event.
“On that front we move on and I hope that going forward we don’t have to suffer too many more of these decisions, particularly that clear when they go against us.”
Lampard was speaking to preview the visit of non-league Boreham Wood to Goodison Park for an FA Cup fifth-round clash, which Ukraine international full-back Vitalii Mykolenko will start.
Mykolenko joined Everton from Dynamo Kyiv in January and has hit the headlines in the last 24 hours for condemning Russia captain Artem Dzyuba and his team-mates for their silence on the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Lampard stressed the 22-year-old has the club’s backing, saying: “He will play and that was a decision I’d made regardless of the outside situation. It feels like the training and the potential of playing is a relief for him.
“The conversations I’ve had with him I’d rather keep private because they are delicate, but at the moment we’re giving him all the support and I’m sure he feels that from our end.
“He’s also a new player here so there’s so many things that have happened to him, let alone moving over here as a young man, coming to a different country, a different city and a different football club.
“He’s now having to contend with all this so he has all our support on that front.”
Boreham Wood, fourth in the Vanarama National League, are 77 places below Everton in the football pyramid but Lampard insisted he will not be taking them lightly.
Lampard added: “It’s very impressive. We treat them with the utmost respect which is why we prepare as if we prepare for any game.
“They’re riding high in the league, they have a certain style which shows they’re well coached and managed. For any team in the league they’re in to reach this far is an absolute achievement.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.