Under-fire Lampard receives public backing from Everton owner Moshiri

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Frank Lampard retains the backing of Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who expressed his support for the struggling manager in an open letter to disgruntled supporters.

Having staved off the threat of relegation from the Premier League last term, Everton are mired in the drop zone with 18 games of the season gone, putting Lampard under severe pressure.

Last week's dismal 4-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion provoked a furious reaction from the Goodison Park crowd, while Friday's FA Cup loss at Manchester United made it eight games without a win for the Toffees.

With Everton not winning a game in any competition since beating Crystal Palace on October 22, Lampard's position has appeared increasingly perilous.

Lampard said he was not seeking assurances about his future after the Brighton loss, but he received them on Wednesday as Moshiri publicly backed his under-fire manager.

"As the majority shareholder and proud custodian of Everton, I have the utmost respect for the support of Evertonians. I am also fully aware and understand the concerns that fans may have," Moshiri wrote in an open response to a letter from the Everton Fans' Forum, expressing concern about the club's position.

"We regularly review our performance and initiate change where we feel the club falls short of standards.

"This has meant that we have seen turnover in managers, directors of football and several board members, but we have always striven to achieve success.

"I have faith in the work being done not only by our manager, but by our director of football [Kevin Thelwell] and our board of directors.

"That faith is based on my knowledge of the depth and quality of work being done at Finch Farm – and of the plan that is in place.

"I am confident that we have skilled, experienced and focused professionals at all levels of the club. We are all agreed that our current league position must and will improve."

Despite Everton's woeful run of form, they are only behind 17th-placed West Ham due to goal difference ahead of Saturday's huge clash with bottom club Southampton.