Frank Lampard said he has "given it everything" at Everton as he aims to claim a crucial victory that might ease the pressure on his job.
On Saturday, Everton face fellow strugglers West Ham, managed by former long-time Toffees boss David Moyes, in a huge clash at the bottom of the Premier League, with both teams level on 15 points.
A win could see Everton – who have lost seven of their past 10 games in all competitions and last won a match in October – rise to 14th.
However, defeat at London Stadium, combined with Southampton avoiding a loss against Aston Villa, would see them head into a two-week break propping up the table.
Lampard has been backed by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, but he along with the club's board is facing increasing scrutiny. The Toffees have not yet signed a player in January despite their manager acknowledging they wish to reinforce their squad, though the Chelsea great is not looking for excuses.
"That’s a tough one. I've absolutely given it everything that I can and it's not one for me to analyse all the circumstances," Lampard told reporters when he was asked if he would feel he had been able to fulfil the role to the best of his ability should he be sacked.
Asked if he felt Everton's issues with recruitment were restricting him, Lampard added: "I can't answer that question and I don't want to answer in a way.
"I've been given an opportunity to work at a great club. I had one of the most amazing nights of my footballing career against Crystal Palace [last season], learned a lot about myself, about coaching, about living in this area.
"I've got my own opinions on those things obviously but I also had an understanding of what the job was, the size of the club, all the positive things and then some things that were maybe going to be taxing.
"Some things I can't control on that front so I just work. Part of the responsibility of the job is to keep certain things private and keep working out of respect."
Everton are reportedly close to signing forward Arnaut Danjuma on loan from Villarreal, and Lampard reiterated he hopes to add fresh faces to his squad.
Ready! West Ham tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/aupa4xt9su— Dominic Calvert-Lewin (@CalvertLewin14) January 20, 2023
"You want to help the squad and that [new players] would help me as a coach, no doubt," he said. "None of us, as coaches, are geniuses.
"Some are probably closer to being geniuses than others but we are not absolute geniuses. And recruitment to get players is generally what will help you have relative success.
"Until that point, there is a responsibility to work with what you have got. There is also my own capacity – can I get better? Can they get better? We have to focus on what we have got here."
Everton's loss to Southampton last week was further marred by the fact that the club's four-person board did not attend the game due to safety concerns.
It was subsequently claimed, through club sources, that chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale had been manhandled after a 4-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on January 3.
Merseyside Police confirmed no complaints had been filed by the club but they were working with Everton to ensure any threats were dealt with.
On Friday, the HerGameToo campaign announced they had been in contact with Everton over fears of the safety of female fans at Goodison Park.
A statement from the campaign confirmed Everton had provided reassurances that "robust procedures and reporting processes" were in place.