As relays the Daily Echo, Frank Lampard admitted making last-minute changes to his team after recognising the Saints tactics, adding: “We dealt with it well.”
The Toffees boss had prepared his side to face the new way Ralph Hasenhuttl had been lining up his team, in a deeper, more direct tactic.
Hasenhuttl’s Saints ran out 2-0 winners over Everton in February, using his 4-2-2-2 identity, early in Lampard’s Goodison Park tenure.
Although Lampard did not anticipate a return to that shape for Hasenhuttl’s men, it meant he knew what he would have to do differently should they.
Hasenhuttl made six personnel changes to facilitate a switch back to the more active, high-pressing game, but Everton were 2-1 winners with all goals coming early in the second-half.
“It was interesting in the build-up because Southampton have been a very different team and style, more direct in their nature,” Lampard identified to the Daily Echo.
“When we saw their team, it looked like a last year’s team in terms of the shape so we had to address the players a lot with that one. You know it’s hard here, you know what you’re going to get to a certain degree so it was focus on us.
“It was more about can we be at it, can we sustain it to win the game as it’s hard in the Premier League.”
He added: “We felt the change was possible because the manager has had that identity for big parts of his career, I’m not following them every week but you watch the games and think ‘could they go back to what they know?
“It’s normal, I have those thoughts myself when you’re striving for points all the time. We felt they would play how they have been playing, when we saw the team we thought not so much and then of course you rely on making some small points to the players.
“What playing two strikers means, what their higher press means, they’ve been playing a bit deeper this season but this weekend not so much. I think we dealt with it, for the most part, well. At the end, it was disappointing we ended up so entrenched in our box but that can happen.”