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Name Frank Lampard
Gender Male
Nationality UK
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
  Derby County manager
Desc A midfielder with the goalscoring record of an elite-level striker. Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer, he hit 22 in a single season in 2009/10, netting a grand total of 147 Premier League goals. Incredibly versatile, deployed everywhere across the midfield in Chelsea blue, before enjoying an unexpectedly profitable Indian Summer at Manchester City

Affiliation

Org English National Team
Club as Coach Chelsea FC
  Derby County
Club as Player New York City FC
  Manchester City
  Chelsea FC
  West Ham
Coach Jose Mourinho

Relationship

Daughter Isla Lampard
  Luna Lampard
Assistant coach Jody Morris

2009 10 04 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard on Steven Gerrard] I would say he is the hardest player to play against in midfield because he’s got everything. He is a very complete midfield player. He’s the stand-out one in England. Maybe when we play Arsenal and they are sometimes on top form, you could pick one of their players but Gerrard is the main one for me. Stevie is one of the best players in the England team and probably in the world to be honest, so it’s always nice to play with great players and against them as well

2015 05 23 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard on Avram Grant] Less than a week after Mum died, Chelsea had the second leg of a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool. The night before the game, Avram Grant, our manager, came to my room and said he didn’t want to select me. I begged him to let me play. Steve Clarke, one of Avram’s assistants, spoke to him and pushed for me, and I played and scored a penalty in extra-time in our victory. Football was such a big part of my life that it was a thing I could cling to in the aftermath of Mum’s death. Football was all I knew to take my mind off it. To take that away was something I didn’t want to handle. I played that game in a bit of a zombie state. I don’t remember much about the game. I remember the penalty. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it, but I felt like I had to

2015 10 31 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard after receiving his OBE award from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace] As a personal achievement goes, this ranks up there with my achievements on the pitch and what I won with Chelsea, and playing for my country. But to receive an award like this among some very special people here, military, people who are doing a lot of good work in charity, it’s very humbling to be here

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira] I was young when I played Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane, and they bossed me. I remember I was a young boy, Patrick kept knocking it over my head [. . .], he had those really long legs, and I really admired them coming through

2016 02 12 Retrieve

[On Gianfranco Zola] If you want me to name just one who really inspired and helped me then it would be Gianfranco Zola. I came to Chelsea as quite a shy boy and it was for a big fee [. . .]. Zola took me under his wing. He was 35 and established as a world-class player, and I was fascinated by the way he trained, practised his free-kicks daily and was always the last on the training ground. He was a gentleman off the pitch and I thought that was how I’d like to be if I could ever get anywhere near what he’s done in the game

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] For me, Jose was the best. He was the first manager I came across to have a particular way. He knew whether a player needed a leg-up or a rollocking. He formed a spirit among the team that was formidable. We didn’t have a group mentality to win the league but he brought that in. And we have seen the same thing happening for him at Inter Milan and with his Real Madrid team

2016 02 14 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] He made me believe I was better than I was at the time. I thought I was a decent player, but he said to me ‘listen, you can really get to the top’ and he made me believe it. I tried to take it on and do it. Mourinho was the best. For me he was. He brought my confidence to a level it had never been

2016 02 15 Retrieve

[When asked what makes Mourinho so good] It’s a presence and an aura and a way with people. He galvanises people. His own self-confidence reflects back on his teams. He did that to me personally. Tactically he’s fantastic. He’s very astute. As a team he sets you up brilliantly. But what he does is he gets the best out of players and gets this togetherness that I’d never known until he came to the club and I haven’t seen it again since then. He might rub people up the wrong way. [But] as a manager, he’s brilliant with his team, tactically, he’s brilliant with individuals and I think he’s brilliant with the press. I know it creates a storm, but he does protect his players.

2016 02 16 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] As soon as I hit a bad time, he rang me every day. Every single day. He is the most loyal, the most caring manager I have ever worked with

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] When I was a kid, Paul Gascoigne was my hero. [. . .] I remember when I started watching football, I was a young West Ham fan, and Paul Gascoigne had come and played against West Ham for Newcastle, and he was young at the time, and I was mesmerized by his character and his ability on the ball. [. . .] He was the one I always looked up to and wanted to be

2016 02 19 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand] I played with Rio for the first two or three years of my career. I saw he come through as a young boy – he started as a No 10 and moved himself back to centre-half. He practised heading – heading maybe 50 balls after training when he was 17 to improve his game. To then see him at Manchester United as an absolute world-beater was amazing because I knew how much it meant to him. He was top class

2016 02 20 Retrieve

[Quote on Ashley Cole] An absolutely outstanding player and bloke. He always had time for everyone at the training ground. Two games stick out for me: one was against Ronaldo for England – Ash didn’t give him a kick – and against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League when we got to the final. In the first leg particularly, no one could get past Ash and he should be very proud of what he achieved as a left-back

2016 03 05 Retrieve

[New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard on rivalry with New York Red Bulls ahead of MLS 2016 opening] (Last year) They were just better than us. This year’s going to be different!

2016 12 24 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard is confident his old club can push on and win the English Premier League title] As a b92077ee48710449a07b421200ff561d man it is great to see, all credit to everybody there. Nobody would have fancied them to be anywhere near winning the league at that point and now they look the dominant team. I don’t like to tempt fate, but I can’t see anyone who has got the consistency to close the gap, so I fancy b92077ee48710449a07b421200ff561d strongly now

2017 01 28 Retrieve

[Jamie Carragher interviews Frank Lamprd and asks him who’s his toughest opponent and Lampard replies] Steven Gerrard, domestically. He had everything. He’d deal with you defensively and hurt you going forward. In Europe it was Andres Iniesta and Xavi. As a combination, you couldn’t get the ball off them

2017 01 29 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard speaks with Jamie Carragher in the Daily Mail] When I look back, I didn’t enjoy any of the big games. I didn’t enjoy any of the finals. You enjoy lifting the trophy and the celebrations. But it was always the next game. I had a fear of losing, a fear of what might happen if I had a bad game. Would I get dropped? Will Liverpool and a1a30d1e8b45be8dca0b814f9353f274 be better than us next year? I don’t remember a lot of stuff in my career

2017 02 04 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard announces his retirement] After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer. Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life

2017 03 07 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard on Steven Gerrard on Monday Night football]</b> Steven Gerrard, in the Premier League. He had everything. If you got him on his day, you can almost forget about it because he was so powerful. Particularly when you used to go up to Anfield, you knew whether Stevie was on his game in the first three minutes because he’d crash through someone. But he had everything… other than the aggressive side, obviously he had top ability. He was a great midfield player.

2017 03 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] [. . .] in my opinion the best centre-half in world football for a long time. I think you could’ve taken John for granted, having someone that good behind you, and he’d often play on the left side directly behind me. I can remember on one hand the number of times he was caught out for pace. He’s technically brilliant and I know John worked at that

2017 03 09 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] He is a magnificent player. He’s a machine. He’s unique. He is not just that big man. He is such a handful. He scores goals that matter and that’s priceless. There is no-one like Didier as a player, not with the kind of bulldozer thing he has got and with his sublime touch and finish

2017 03 10 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] He was probably the greatest player I ever played with. He scored goals in the big games, was great in the dressing room, a big character. I have a huge amount of respect for Didier

2017 03 11 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] It’s been a pleasure to play with him [. . .]. His body is a machine, when you look at him stripped down. [. . .] As a man, I love Didier and [. . .] he has been a hero for this club and will go down as a legend

2017 03 12 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] I could talk about Didier all day. You can’t underestimate the influence he had in the dressing room. The year we won the Champions League he was like a man possessed. I owe and have a lot to thank him for, because a lot of my goals and assists were down to him. The Champions League final, we wouldn’t have been stood there without Didi. To be able to score that header and then to go and score the winning penalty for the team was amazing

2017 08 26 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard expects an English club to compete for the UEFA Champions League 2017/18 title]</b> I expect the English teams to have one or two in the semi-final. Definitely, it is time to see an English club compete. There are no excuses for me. Christmas, having no break? Physical league? Not good enough. We invest enough in football, we are lucky to have a huge investment in the league because it is so popular. Clubs have brought in players from all over the world, even lesser clubs. If you get beaten in the Champions League, then that’s because you have been beaten by a better team. It is as simple as that. Unfortunately, for the English teams, the real best teams have been a Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for a time

2017 10 21 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard reflects on his career, and winning the UEFA Champions League in 2012] I like to see myself as a winner and you often look back and regret the trophies you lost as much as celebrate the ones you won. I would have been gutted to get to the end of the career without the Champions League

2017 11 27 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard reveals the much spoken about ‘golden generation’ of English football did not achieve success in proportion to their quality because fail to replicate the intensity of club performances at international level] You feel so passionately about the club, your own performances, that to be a bit pally with someone you’re competitive with was difficult. It may have held England back. We didn’t hate each other, but by nature we would sit on different tables

2018 03 15 Retrieve

[Lampard explains how he fell in love with Serie A] In the modern day with social media, everything’s in touching distance - you can watch Spanish [football], watch Italian [football], these names are in everyday view. Then it was our league at home and there was this magical league [over there]

[Lampard name AC Milan as his favourite team] I got an AC Milan kit as a Christmas present one year - a special present just after dinner. When I pulled out that kit I must have worn it for three days

[Lampard explains how Serie A influenced him in the early stages of his career at 4b46bd6bc14dda62898243ba8c27c3c8 and Chelsea] 53425348827200330cdc77f0db2ae644 was another hero of mine. He kind of goes under the radar because he wasn’t at an A1 team there - Napoli and Parma. When I played with him he was 37 and the technique on him and his professionalism, which is something I think the Italians brought into our game - they were 15-20 years ahead of us in that era

You could just see in the definition of them, whereas if you looked at the old Division One in England there would have been ‘different’ body shapes! There they had seen nutrition, fitness coaches. Paolo Di Canio was like that and you could look up to that and be influenced by it

2018 08 04 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard tells that he and former England team-mate and now Rangers manager Steven Gerrard texted each other before making their managerial debuts] We were texting back and forth discussing the mad life of management and how we both see it. We are both the same, we are enjoying every minute of it. It’s strange and you can’t switch off because you want to do so well, that’s certainly how I feel. Some days you can’t switch off which means giving it every moment of the day and I’m sure Steven will be the same because I know how competitive he is

2018 11 22 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard on Didier Drogba’s retirement] Didier Drogba is the most incredible player. He always turned up on the big occasion. He was a monster in the dressing room. He should be so proud of his career. On top of that, he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, men I have played with

2019 05 10 Retrieve

[Espionage scandal against Frank Lampard’s Derby] You know that it’s a crime to spy. Do you know that? Do you know it was a crime? When you have a level of ignorance and you work as a journalist and when you have a right to ask questions and when you lie in your answers and you don’t assume the irony and you keep telling what you ignore if spying is a crime or not you deserve a response without any conclusion. You make your question knowing that observing the opponent is now sanctioned, you know it perfectly and you ask… Is it a joke? If it was I don’t understand it. But it’s not because I don’t have a sense of humour. You’re not funny. If we are to explain these circumstances, what we can say is this team deserves to have 10-12 points more and we don’t have them because we needed too many chances to actually score one goal. This is the vision I have through the whole season

2019 08 16 Retrieve

[Batshuayi set for b92077ee48710449a07b421200ff561d stay but Lampard leaves exit door open for others] The future is Michy’s here as one of our strikers. It’s important for him as this year we have three strikers but there will be opportunities for him. With Michy it’s important that he trains at a top, top-level every day and gets himself fit to play the way I want my strikers to play, which will be constant movement on and off the ball for us and obviously to try and score goals. He’s very much our player and competing with particularly with Tammy [Abraham] and Oli [Giroud] for that space

[Lampard said of the 27-year-old and the potential for talented teenager Reece James to rise above him in the pecking order] Reece is injured. There will probably be another two or three weeks until he is back. That’s another decision that will be made as we go on. I have been really impressed with Zappacosta’s training, attitude and how he has been. He is a very good player. We have to make sure that we are happy with our squad when the European windows shut completely. That will be a decision for us and, of course, Zappa. I want players happy. The professionalism that he has shown here has been great. That’s an ongoing conversation, but he is our player

[Bakayoko, who is back with b92077ee48710449a07b421200ff561d after a loan spell at AC Milan but still out of favour, is another who could depart over the coming weeks]</b> Yes, it is similar with both players [Bakayoko and Zappacosta]. They obviously haven’t both started this season for us or had minutes. Both have shown great application and not been a problem. The decision will be what’s best for us as a club and them individually

2019 08 17 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard speaks about Stephanie Frappart’s appointment for the Super Cup] It’s great news. I’m very pleased to be a part of this moment in history, which is very much due. I think the game has come on a long way in many ways in terms of the Women’s World Cup that we all watched this summer, in terms of how much respect the game’s getting, how many people are watching, the interest in the game. I think we were slow everywhere on this and now we’re trying to make strides, and there’s still a long way to go. It’s a huge moment. It should be very well addressed and we are pleased it’s a historical moment and it’s one more step in the right direction

2019 08 21 Retrieve

[Blues manager Frank Lampard has spoken about the futures of both Bakayoko and Zappacosta, the latter of whom has arrived in Rome and is having his medical on Wednesday] Yes, it is similar with both players. They obviously haven’t both started this season for us or had minutes. Both have shown great application and not been a problem. The decision will be what’s best for us as a club and them individually.

2019 08 23 Retrieve

[Lampard puts faith in misfiring Chelsea forwards after Batshuayi’s goalscoring return] Michy got the fitness work he needed out of the game. He scored two good goals, two very good finishes. I thought he worked hard and that’s exactly what the game was there to do for him. As I’ve said here and I’ve said on the training pitch, we need Michy, we need the competition upfront with the three strikers we have. I used to love practising my finishing in training, it’s what I felt made me lucky at the weekend, and gave me an edge in front of goal. What I have got is great attitude in the three strikers particularly, but others in the squad also always want to stay out, want to work harder. The reality is that moments come when things don’t quite go for you. [If] Tammy’s goal goes in off the post against United, [it’s a] different story for him, different story for the game. But you can’t get too down about that. I don’t think we need to go negative about it. It’s about positivity, working hard and the belief that it will come, and I believe it will come. We’re talking about quality players in terms of our attacking players, so it will come

This is the Premier League and you can’t disrespect any team to say, ‘it’s must-win’ or ‘we’ll turn up to win’ because every game is difficult. I was clear with the players: the performance [against Leicester] spoke for itself. The first half was fantastic. Normally that first half would be two or three-nil, and from then on very comfortable. We’ve shown some really good bits, but we’ve still got work to do. We’re not where we want to be, and it would be impossible to say that three games into the season. It’s not easy in pre-season with players coming back late to try and change everything in one go. You can’t. You just have to work hard and keep trying to deliver messages throughout. We’ll get better and the good times are good, but we also know there’s a lot to improve on. We’re not there yet

Kante has got an injury he has carried all week, so we’ll assess that over the next 24 hours over whether he is [available]. Rudiger’s not fit yet, hopefully for next week. That’s the only changes from where we were last week. Callum is training, looking bright and sharp but now we’re in the zone where it’s about protecting him, giving him conditioning with fitness, especially in the area of his injury. He has had quite a long time out. The international break comes at quite a good time for us with both of those and for Reece James. They’re all in a position where, I hope, two or three weeks of strong training puts them back in the frame for the squad

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard explain why Ngolo Kante cant become holding midfielder] This idea that he wins the ball probably as well as anybody in world football doesn’t mean that he has to sit in front of the back four and do that. He also has too much in his game to drive forward with the ball, to lead midfield areas and win the ball back high up the pitch. That’s what I want to give him the freedom to do [a license to win the back higher up the field]

2019 10 24 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard hails Christian Pulisic as Chelsea’s ‘babies’ come of age] Sometimes the toughest part of management is leaving out players that really want to play week in, week out. You rely on them being positive and coming on to make an impact. You have to give Christian huge credit because he looked so lively and the assist is just as important as the finish

I’ve tried to shut my ears to a lot of the outside talk … I understand his quality, his young age and the fact that it’s a big move for him. He wants to know what I want from him, what the Premier League is like and that’s not always an easy ride but we’ve stayed calm and kept looking at the big picture

[Lampard said the result, which left Chelsea with six points after three games in Group H, had set the benchmark for his youthful side] It feels huge. That always scares me because there’s a lot to do and it’s just six points halfway through the group now, but we’re entitled to be excited. It can be a bit of a blueprint for us in terms of the work from the midfield players which was outstanding … but there’s no excuses for us now to dip from that. The younger players are still babies in Champions League minutes, so this was a huge test … but the balance of our team between young players […] and experienced players who they rely on to set examples was good

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Chelsea have been without England international Loftus-Cheek since he ruptured his Achilles tendon in May] It’s a long road. It’s a difficult one for Ruben, because we want him back, we all know his quality. But it’s going to be a while, it’s going to be a while. I feel for him, because people will ask and the thing to say would be, ‘Yeah, I’m really pushing on, it might be next week, it might be next month’. But I don’t think that’s quite the case. We need to let him get on with it. We’re all supporting him here. There’s no immediate news.

[A similar situation occurred last week with Rudiger, who has played just once since a serious knee injury in April] [Rudiger] had an operation and he’s going to be out for probably about three weeks hopefully. Then we’ll have to see how the match fitness comes in, because it’s a long time Toni’s been out now. It was nice to get something definitive about it. We’ve been trying to find a solution, Toni’s been having some issues, and it’s not easy for someone in that position. Hopefully we are at that case now and, in three weeks’ time, we’ll be in a better place

You’re going to do well to cover quality players. We’ve not had N’Golo [Kante] for a big part of the season, Ruben Loftus-Cheek we’ve not had, Toni, of course, we’ve not had. So that’s one of the nice stories in terms of the rest of the squad, but we’ll gladly take them all back.

2019 12 04 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard hails ‘legend’ John Terry on Stamford Bridge return] It was a bit strange, I’ve been there myself last year - it is difficult. You are professional and want to do your job but it is not easy. I’m glad John had his moment here and got his applause. John was very humble, didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but he’s a legend, the most decorated captain the club has ever had, and he deserved it.

I thought we were great today. I’m pleased because that was us again, we had a blip against West Ham and today we were back. Our character at half-time was important and we carried off where we left off. The disappointment of the day is we didn’t score two or three. Villa are stubborn, have picked up results on the road and you can see why. They have good players and are well organised

2019 12 05 Retrieve

[Abraham injury fears calmed as Chelsea boss Lampard hails value of 12-goal top scorer] It doesn’t seem too bad in there, so I’m presuming that he’s alright

[Lampard added on an academy graduate who has quickly become a talismanic presence in the senior ranks at Stamford Bridge] He’s a personality that’s growing in our dressing room every day with his enthusiasm and his will to win. Tammy is a striker that’s near the top of the goalscoring charts in the league, he’s showing his all-round game, stretches defences, and he starts our press. And of course if a player’s on such a good run it’s normal that if they go out of the team that you can miss them, and today he came straight back in as he left off

[Lampard admits to still being unsure as to when Ruben Loftus-Cheek will come back into contention] He’s had a few setbacks over the last two months. He hasn’t had a new one [injury], but he’s not flying along as much as we would want, and it’s not for the want of trying from everybody. For Ruben himself of course there’s nothing worse than being injured. But at the moment he’s no closer to being fit

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[When quizzed on his plans for the New Year] It is what it is. Now we know. The club was working towards this and it’s a positive outcome. We can look forward and it’s good from a footballing point of view. We haven’t discussed it too much before the decision. Now it’s a discussion we can take up. I’m not going to go down too many lines. We will see where we are. In terms of the bigger picture it is constantly fluid

[Pressed further on whether transfer plans have already been discussed] I haven’t had that conversation. The fact that people have given us credit, that has to go to the group. I want more and to be higher up the table. If there is a chance to strengthen, then we will look at it

[The winter window is a notoriously difficult one to navigate] It’s a challenge, yeah. The one thing I felt that when you come into a club, sometimes players you bring in is key to that. Going forward it is something that I will bring to the club. It won’t just be myself. I have a very open discussion with Marina Granovskaia. It will be a challenge and hopefully we will get it right. When Roman Abramovich came in the landscape changed and it made me stand up and want to be better than those coming in. We want a competitive squad. I see the squad as 20+ and if players come in or leave it is a vision of where we want to go

[Lampard is, however, keen to keep his cards close to his chest when it comes to possible targets] It depends on the player. We have to keep the balance of the squad and it has to feel right. It doesn’t matter if it’s January, July or not.

2019 12 06b Retrieve

[Lampard: Chelsea won’t abandon youth movement after transfer ban reversal] [Fans] won’t lose that feeling for the young players because they’re here to stay. And the young players beneath that, if they train well enough and show enough then they’ll get their opportunities too. I don’t think there’s any problem with that. If we’re going to try [to make signings] it will be for the improvement of the squad - but if you think we’re going to line up Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and sell them, we’re not. They’re here to stay so the fans will be happy that they can keep that relationship and know that anything we do going forward now will be to try and improve from that base. [We need to consider] the attitude and personality of people we bring in, because we want people who come in to want to work hard and be successful at the club. So that’s where the balance of it becomes really important to me

[Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Genk’s Sander Berge are among the players the Blues are eyeing] Now that we know, starting from today there will be conversations had. We have a scouting department - we have people working on this all the time, whether the ban was here or not. It’s not now everyone will just run to their computers and start Googling the best players we can buy! We’re always ready to move forward so it’s part of the big picture. It’s the club’s decision, of course. As I mentioned before, I have a really good relationship with the owner and with Marina [Granovskaia, transfer director]. I respect that relationship on their side and I respect what Roman Abramovich has done for this club because I’m part of it. Without him, I wouldn’t have a lot of the things that I’ve done in the game. I just put forward my case on a working level of what I think will improve us and, hopefully, we’ll make the move from there. But I’m respectful of how the club works.

Every big team buys. In the competitive nature of the Premier League and where we’re at, look at what Manchester United have spent in recent years and Manchester City, and now Tottenham last summer - and Arsenal. But at the moment we have managed to utilise a lot of hard work that has gone into the academy over the last 15 or so years and that’s great to see that coming through in one go. That’s changed our picture slightly but we still want to improve if the opportunities are there

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Lampard fumes at Chelsea & says they didn’t match Everton’s physicality] We gave them three goals. I suppose the first goal will be seen as a good goal from their point of view but we know Richarlison’s good in the air, he scores a lot of goals and we didn’t deal with it. Then when you give Everton that goal to hang on to, we gave ourselves a problem.

We didn’t create enough chances and we didn’t want to shoot enough, we dribble into their box and we try and beat someone else. We need to shoot more. And then the other two goals were just really poor from our point of view. You dominate a game with possession, you play a team that play with a lot of fighting spirit in the moment when they’re fighting for their interim manager and for themselves and we’ve got to do more.

I think we matched them on the work rate. Work rate is one thing, I expect us to match everyone in this league on that, but sometimes physical contact is another. So if you’re not going to win headers or balls that bounce down and you’re not going to go through the ball and the man a little bit then at places like Goodison, especially, it’s going to be really hard to come and win

We can’t defend like that. If there is evidence in a game, in one little package, that shows how far we still need to go, I think it was today. We got in their box so many times and score one goal in the game. They get in our box a few times, but through our own sloppiness they scored

2019 12 07b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard, Duncan Ferguson’s opposite number on Saturday, was left fuming with Chelsea’s defensive frailties, convinced all three terrible goals were gifts] We always knew they were going to have a go and they’ve got good players, they’re just in a slightly false position for whatever reason. I’m more worried about us. It wasn’t good enough from us, conceding three terrible goals from our point of view. We know Richarlison is good in the air on crosses and the last thing you want is to go one down early here, then they can be organised and make things very difficult for you. We got in their box so many times and [were] not getting shots away, trying to walk it in at times, so [there were] lots of things I wasn’t happy with.

2019 12 08 Retrieve

[Lampard pointed out after Saturday’s dismal 3-1 defeat at Everton] If anyone thought this year would be a breeze, we’d win six, seven or eight games on the bounce, that was misguided. They were very happy to give us all the ball. When we gave away a third goal late on, we gave ourselves a problem. Some of the goals were really poor

[Lampard felt his players lacked desire] You dominate a game with possession. But when you play a team with a lot of spirit and in a moment in which they are fighting for the interim manager (Duncan Ferguson) and themselves, you have got to do more than we did. Work rate is one thing and I expect them to match everyone on that front. But sometimes physical contact is another. So, if you are not going to win headers, balls are going to bounce down and you are not going to go through the man and the ball at places like Goodison, it is going to be really tough to win here. It was a really poor mistake from us [on the third goal]. Kepa passes it straight to Theo [Walcott] and after that there were two more mistakes. We can’t defend like that. If ever there was a game that shows how far we need to go, then it was today

[Lampard accuses Pulisic, Willian and Mason Mount not being brave enough. Tammy Abraham wasn’t beyond reproach, after failing to trouble Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, a central defensive pairing that has struggled all season long] In the first half, we created a lot of chances but we don’t want to shoot enough. We dribble into their box and we try to beat someone else – we need to shoot more

2019 12 08b Retrieve

[Lampard: It is time for ‘home truths’ after poor week for Chelsea] Hurt is not the word. I want to win. If I was here smiling and saying how well we played you would think I was crazy. We should be better than that. There are home truths all the time, whatever game you play. The players need to consistently hear that. We have got a good bunch and good group in there. In the Premier League, the competitive nature of it, there are going to be times where you have difficult patches or you lose games. It is certainly not the end of the world, but it is important that we take on board the lessons of games like today and West Ham. We have had a week where we were poor, fantastic and poor again. That lack of consistency is not going to get us where we want to be

They have to get used to it quickly. You can give them a tiny bit of room maybe for the fact of the youth of some of the team, but at the same time they might be young but they are not silly. They know that physical contact happens in games like this. Games get broken up, balls go direct into you box. It is another thing to deal with it better. There are teams who play that way. They all knew it was coming. We are not slight physically, especially if you look at our centre-backs and Tammy [Abraham] up front, for instance. We should have been aware

2019 12 09 Retrieve

[When asked for an update on Rudiger’s condition] Potentially [it will be] difficult [for him] but our guard against that was to give him a lot of work. We’ve managed to create some things behind the scenes here in training that look like matchplay. He’s done some pure running as well to be fair and he’s come through all that. You can only speak as you look at him and he looks fit and ready to go. I know he’s hungry. In terms of building him up, probably rightly so. He’s a good defender. I think maybe people have overlooked the fact that we had… everybody spoke about youth at the start of the season, all these things and transfer bans. The idea that we started with five big players all injured for a period of time and carrying on that now, Rudi is back and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is a big player for us as well. You do miss those individuals so let’s see what he can add to us now

The other news I suppose is that Fikayo Tomori is out. He’s got a small tiny strain around his hip area and it’s been bothering him so I’ve taken him out for a few days

2019 12 09b Retrieve

[Lampard wary of ‘reactionary’ spending at Chelsea after seeing transfer ban lifted] You have to be careful not to be too reactionary. Ban lifted, lose at Everton it might be easy to come to that conclusion. As much as at the start of the season that we have got these young boys, we don’t need anyone. As a club like Chelsea there has to be a balance. We have a strong squad, but we have to look at can we strengthen? There will be times going forward, whether it’s January or next summer there will be times and opportunities to strengthen. You do learn as you go along with the players, every day in training and at games but it certainly hasn’t changed my mindset right now

2019 12 09c Retrieve

[Lampard says Chelsea’s youngsters must step up in vital Champions League clash] I like that this is a knockout, we are going to be at our best. It is a big game, almost like a knockout game. We have wanted more in our home games. When you score early in the game it changes the face of the game. When you play well but don’t score you add the pressure yourselves

[Lampard is not concerned by his side’s form and is glad to have a chance to make an instant response against Lille] It was always going to come. The way we are, the nature of the Premier League. It was never going to be plain sailing. This is a test. It’s a tight turnaround, but that is the nature of the season. There is work you can do and working out there. I am pleased we’re playing

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[Chelsea to look for Hazard replacement as Lampard makes transfer plans] I think it will be a bit fluid. There will be discussions that go on from now about where we can strengthen, because of course with Eden leaving we lost a lot of goals, a lot of creation in his particular position. What I’m talking about today is that we missed some chances and I think we can probably look at strengthening and pushing and getting maybe more competition in those areas

With the youth, we understand those bumps in the road will come, whether individually or collectively. I push them a lot, I’m quite tough with them, and I want them to work and improve. But at the same time, you do have to be a bit patient. That’s where the balance of the team and the squad is important – the older, more experienced players do help them. We have got a good balance but I think today was a strong sign of how much work we have to do. It should have been a game that was finished much earlier. It’s been a little bit the story of our season at times and that’s the biggest thing, for me, we need to improve

2019 12 10b Retrieve

[The Blues boss conceded his side did show signs of nerves on Tuesday against Lille, where they needed a win to progress] It did get twitchy. We need to take our chances better. At 2-0 I thought it was not quite done and when Lille scored it made it a more nervy finish to the game than it needed to be.

It’s going to be a work in progress. With the young players we have in this side there will be bumps in the road. I push them and can be quite hard on them, setting the high standards I want to see them reach, but at the same time I have to be patient.

Today was a sign of how much work we still have got to do. It should have been a calmer finish to the game and that is the biggest thing, for me, that we need to improve

2019 12 11 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard believes Carlo Ancelotti has the ability coach any side in the world after Napoli sacked the experienced Italian on Tuesday] I have huge respect for him, I am very sorry for him. I know it was a tough job for him lately. I saw his interview before the game and I thought it was a very typically classy interview in what seemed a very tough time for him. He always handles himself brilliantly. I think he can work anywhere in the world at the top level, of course

2019 12 13 Retrieve

[More from Frank Lampard, who has some nice words about Jurgen Klopp] Liverpool are a huge rival now. Recruitment, their style of play, what Jurgen Klopp has built over a period of a few years is incredible. So congratulations on the new contract, it’s fully deserved that’s for sure. I love going up against the managers of the quality and name of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, you go through the Premier League there’s so many great managers here. So I’m pleased, I’m not disappointed, the challenge for us is can we bridge the gap to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp or no Jurgen Klopp. But congrats on his new contract

[He’s asked if Chelsea are fighting for fourth spot with Manchester United and Spurs but isn’t having the somewhat lazy presumption that Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City are locked in for the top three places] I think probably Liverpool I would agree with you but the rest is up for grabs. Huge respect to Leicester for what they’ve done so far but there’s a long way to go for all of us. I don’t think we were very fancied [to make the top four] at the start of the season and it’s important that we carry on trying to prove people wrong with our performances

2019 12 13b Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he expects to see a lot more from Christian Pulisic] More, a lot more. I have just mentioned there about conversion of chances. I think Pulisic gets himself in so many good positions with his talent and his dribbling ability that I think more goals will be the next stage of that. I’m really pleased with him. I have asked a lot of him. He has played a lot of games recently, back to back, in a new league that we know is very physical for him. I am asking a lot, he has done very well. But I expect a lot more

2019 12 13c Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard addresses Wilfried Zaha, Ben Chilwell & Nathan Ake links] We want the top calibre of player that can improve us. I won’t even hone in on those three. I have said it over the last couple of weeks. I am happy with the squad but we have to improve if we can. It is not just my business, in the modern day since I have been in management and at most clubs it is a joint-effort. We have a scouting system, the board and myself. I can put forward a lot and we will work together. I will recommend players that can improve us, fit with the style and the way we want to go and come in really hungry. I want people who come here wanting to win and to be a Chelsea player

[Chelsea did include a buy-back clause in Ake’s deal] I don’t know how clever it is. It is what it is. I think Nathan came through here and when he has gone to Bournemouth to be able to play regular football, I think he has done fantastically well. He has shown himself as a really good defender in the Premier League

2019 12 13d Retrieve

[Lampard explains Chelsea transfer process] I have had very open conversations with (Chelsea director) Marina (Granovskaia) which is speaking to the owner as far as I’m concerned. I can speak to either of those, but mainly Marina. And the scouting department, and Petr Cech. And of course I sit with my staff daily for hours, we talk about the team and how we can improve and of course at some points, you start thinking about the longer-term future. The conversations have been very open to this point so I am happy with it. But of course, we haven’t bought anyone. If I say I want Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for my front three I might get knocked back! I wouldn’t say that, but it’s a balance where I can put forward a recommendation and have an open conversation with the owner and hope we move forward in the right direction. I’m very open about that. My biggest thing here is how hard can we work on the training ground because I know we have a good squad, that’s my main concern. Of course, when it comes to recruitment, I want to have a big say in it and we are very open

I haven’t banned the talk but I am not going to set out to engage in it. If players want to come and see me and talk then I will happily have a conversation with them individually but that hasn’t happened. I think the thing with the young players. I haven’t felt the need to have that conversation. I speak to them regularly. I can be, not hard on them, but I push them and drive them if I can in training because I think they need that but, I do think they feel the trust I have in them because with all of them they know I’m prepared to give them the opportunities and chances if they train well and they come in the team and play well, so I haven’t needed to have the conversation about who may come in. I think they should naturally feel a little bit of tension all the time so that’s not the worst thing. They also just need to work and believe in their own talents because their talent is there for all to see and we have to be patient with that because it may take different periods of time for them to fully blossom as players. [There] might be a period in and out of the team, have a run of the games and then not. I am prepared to stick with them through that because I really believe in them.

If I start to look at where I can strengthen the squad, it’s certainly not going to be a slant on the young players or anything. I think we all here have seen this summer and what’s happened here since the summer that the idea of going into the academy and giving these boys a chance is a really good one because they have deserved it. They haven’t been getting that so much in the past so I do think maybe we have changed our minds a little bit on that one, Of course, we do need to stay competitive, that will never change but people have been very pleased to see that and I certainly am. I think that is the balance and in an ideal world, that’s what you have. We now from investment and time spent in the academy that was always the desire you want players to come through it helps you in terms of producing yourself and then at the same time whatever your club is striving you want to bring in players around that so that’s the clear balance we are looking for

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Lampard said after his team misfired against West Ham two weeks ago] I think it will be a bit fluid and discussions will be ongoing from now about where we can strengthen. Of course, with Eden leaving, we lost a lot of goals and creation in that particular position. We’ve missed some chances and we can look at strengthening and pushing and getting more competition in those areas

I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say the fans were flat today and we needed them. I would be the first, but today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there today, I’d also say ‘pfft, too slow’. Centre-back to centre-back, full-back to full-back, back to centre-back, back to full-back and I don’t want to come and see that. So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will come to Southampton on Boxing Day and some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards. That’s up to the players as well, so that’s a joint thing

2019 12 14b Retrieve

[Lampard doesn’t want to manage ‘safe’ Chelsea as Blues fail to excite once more] I don’t know about fear but in front of our own fans it’s clear now we aren’t playing well enough and getting enough results. Up until now I think a lot of it – and I said this after Lille – was we’re not taking enough chances because we’re creating a lot and we’re giving away some silly goals. Today wasn’t a ‘we’re creating loads of chances day’, we created two or three great chances and we need to take them if we want to improve, but today we just didn’t get the fans excited enough. The fans shouldn’t be excited if we’re going to play 10 balls across our back four. They shouldn’t be. I think that’s not the team I want to manage

I don’t blame the fans. I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say the fans were flat today and we needed them. I would be the first, but today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there today, I’d also say ‘pfft, too slow. Centre-back to centre-back, full-back to full-back, back to centre-back, back to full-back and I don’t want to come and see that’. So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will come to Southampton on Boxing Day and some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards

[Lampard now has to find a way of getting Chelsea back on track] Urgency in our play. If you’re transferring the ball, transfer it quickly from side to side. If you’re playing through the lines because that’s the kind of player you are, get it through the lines. If you’re an attacking player get at people, do things that are positive, don’t play safe. We played generally too safe during the game

[He admits that some harsh lessons are being handed out, but claims to have expected that to happen] I’m disappointed but I think I got asked at all these press conferences when we were winning on the bounce about how good we were and how quickly it’s all changed. I was always guarded against that. Whether I’ve been proven right or whatever, the best way to put that is now we have the reality, that if we’re not at our best, if we haven’t got enough to break teams down that are organised, if players with their individual quality and personality can’t do something to beat teams that are organised, then we need to find another way. That’s a test and that’s hard work needed for us

2019 12 15 Retrieve

[Lampard: Chelsea’s players need to take responsibility in front of goal] I don’t think that’s a training ground thing. It is more an on-pitch thing because there is talent in that room that can break a low block with a certain pass, a moment. Firstly, you want to take that moment and take it on and not be safe.

Secondly, you have to execute it. Today we didn’t do both enough. I think you can work towards it with how you coach, with how you speak to the players and how you trust in them but the final deal is what goes out on the pitch there today. So a lot of that is what we do out there. I don’t want to isolate their bravery because we have to be a collective and a group. On a day like today, you have to have players who can break that moment. The whole stadium felt it was a slightly flat day so you say, okay, the responsibility is on the players.

Today, we spent a lot of time in their half, in the first half, particularly. It is in attacking areas of the pitch [where we need that magic]. We know we concede a lot and that’s probably the nature of the Premier League in the modern-day. You even look at Liverpool who are flying but they haven’t kept many clean sheets themselves at times. That’s maybe how it is slightly but we need to score more. That’s for sure. Going into this game, it was clear that we are creating far too many chances that we are not taking

Yes, maybe. I think that a little bit of fatigue can be part of the picture and we will look at that behind the scenes. Probably more for training, a long week. We have had a spell now of game after game after game. Sometimes that feels good when you are winning consistently. Now we have had difficult results so it might be good for us to go over some things on the training pitch

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Lampard determined to beat former mentor Mourinho when Chelsea take on Tottenham] I think it will be special. I think it will make a difference to me, I think it will make a difference to him. We’re both professionals, we’re driven, and sometimes when you come across someone you worked with or a club that you worked with, it pushes you on that little bit more in the best possible way. And it’s Tottenham-Chelsea, that game has enough anyway. And then you have Jose Mourinho there. And he’s going to be desperate to beat us, let’s make no bones

[When asked directly if recording a win against Mourinho would be an extra sweetener to go along with three points] In my professional head, yes. I want to go up against the best. When I’ve gone up against Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp this season, of course, you want to say: ‘Can I show against these incredible managers what I can do, what my team can do?’. So it will be a similar feeling

[Lampard added on Tottenham being capable of a top-four finish with Mourinho at the wheel] I think his personality – and his record – is something that needs to be in top-level football. So having Jose back is obviously going to mix it right up in the Premier League. We know the record that Jose has as a winning manager, he’s won wherever he’s been. He’s come into a club, and a squad, that were probably tipped to be somewhere in the title race at the beginning of the season. They had a difficult start, but they still have those players. So with the freshness of Jose Mourinho, of course, they’re going to be challengers for sure for the top four

2019 12 20b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard plays down rivalry with Mourinho] The problem with this is it’s not the me and Jose show. It’s a game against Tottenham. I want to beat him. I respect him and know what a top manager he is. He wants to beat me because he used to manage Chelsea, he used to manage me, and now he’s managing Tottenham and wants to beat us

I would always have big respect for all my managers. If I was to text or ring a manager, I’d always call them boss or gaffer. Even long gone. When you go up against someone like that, influential, I knew it was different. It was a good honour to go up against him, but I wanted to beat him. It would be strange to call him boss now. Now I am an ex-player, on this side of the fence, I won’t be calling him boss. But that doesn’t take away from the respect I have for him. If you go to the fiercest rivals, the fans will give the answer. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten the history or don’t respect it. Jose Mourinho is a manager who wants to work. He took that opportunity. Mourinho won’t be too concerned about that, either. Look at the times he’s come back with United, it did look like [he doesn’t care]. We know it’s a huge rivalry. Probably, in my era, it became the biggest of the London derbies. It felt like that in the stadia and on the pitch. So possibly it is. Any rivalry, any local derby, ups the ante slightly. I remember that feeling, that eagerness to win and desperation not to lose. That’s how we all feel about it.

There’s no better person for Tammy Abraham to look up to in football than Harry Kane. Harry Kane is the all-round No. 9. If not the best then close to being the best in the world. He should look up to that. I know he does and is trying to take up the work ethic Harry has to try and be the best in the world. He will be different, but he can go really, really far following that kind of model

[Kane’s work ethic and desire have been cited as key attributes in his rise to become one of the world’s best strikers] From the outside, he does remind me of myself. He’s maximised every bit of his talent, or is maximising it. He’s a driven boy, family man, wants to work and eke every bit out of his career. I have huge respect for him. We’ll be rivals on Sunday, but we have huge respect for him

2019 12 20c Retrieve

[Quizzed on what he has taken from experiences working under one of the finest tacticians in the modern game] Not (just) one thing. Mourinho is a good manager. I am not trying to be a clone of anything. I am happy to go up against Jose, it was a big deal last year. I have big respect for him. The big thing is Chelsea vs Spurs, it is what the rivalry means to my players

They had a fantastic manager in (Mauricio) Pochettino, that made them a big challenge for everyone in the Premier League. It is always a competitive fixture

[Just two victories have been taken from seven games across all competitions] There have been some positives and you can’t get caught up in the negatives. We are in fourth position. Of course, we know we can do better, but we just want to keep moving forward

[Lampard has been freed to spend after seeing a transfer embargo lifted, but he is keeping his recruitment cards close to his side] I am not going to divulge too much now

2019 12 20d Retrieve

[How Mourinho-like is Lampard and does the Chelsea boss still like the Tottenham manager?] I try to be myself; I think that’s very important. Copying anyone as a manager is a mistake. You have to find your own methods or your own ways. I certainly have no fear of tapping into a bit of the managers that I have worked with over the years, but I don’t think I’m similar to any of them. I try to take positive points from a lot of people I worked with. In terms of how I work, you have to be reactionary in games, but I try to take things in throughout the week and get all the information to be as prepared as I can be and thorough with the staff that I’ve got. Then, make decisions having done that work, which I think gives you the best opportunity to have success.

[It felt like a semblance of revenge, particularly as it was Mourinho who had said of Lampard’s move to the Etihad] When he decided to go to a direct competitor, then love stories are over

[In his role as a pundit on Sky Sports, Mourinho had deemed the Blues ‘too soft’ and criticised Mason Mount for his debut display] He didn’t like the performance of Mason Mount? Is that what he said? Did he? Wow! Well, I can’t drag players out of the medical room to play, so these are the players that played in a game in which we were clearly the better team for 45 to 60 minutes

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[When asked if the sale of Hazard puts more pressure on Pulisic and Willian] It does and not just them, Mateo Kovacic is one to mention as well because he’s taken up all of those roles and been really good for us this year. The biggest gripe we would have with ourselves is that if you look at our season, in lots of games, we see a lot of the ball and have control in certain games. Then you look at how clinical you were in certain areas where football is won and lost. We’ve been giving away goals we’re not happy with at times, but I think in modern Premier League football, it’s getting harder to keep clean sheets. If we are creating and getting balls into the box, the longer you don’t take those chances, you give the other team the feeling that they’re in the game and I think that’s part of the reason for the recent losses that we’ve had

[Lampard admits that Chelsea can make life easier for themselves by becoming more ruthless in the final third] Yeah, without a doubt. I wouldn’t say it’s a hard thing to coach, I’m not taking it away from myself, but we do a lot of work on finishing and the player I was, my thing was repetition and practise is the only thing that’s going to make me score on Saturday. I felt like practice made me lucky and made me better. In this period, we do have to relentlessly push. Can we be clinical? Man City is a perfect example of our season on the negative side because you go 1-0 up against one of the best teams in the country, felt like we were really in charge of the game, had another one or two decent chances and 2-0 makes it a completely different game. Then they score, and talk about making my own luck, [Kevin] De Bruyne scores off a deflection and then we go 2-1 down at half time and then it’s a really difficult match. You come away from it saying we played well but we didn’t win, that’s not what we want to be but that’s part of the process as well

2019 12 21b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard: Mourinho taught me how to bond with young players] I suppose when you say is there anything I take from Jose, maybe my answer could have been and should have been that when he first came to Chelsea, I had played under different managers. Harry Redknapp was my uncle, so that relationship was there, but he was the first manager that day-to-day made me feel really close to him. We worked on the mental side without working on it; it was just this confidence that he gave me which forms a bond. He did form a bond with me. Working with the younger players that we have here now, it is my duty to try and form my bond with them. They are at the start of their journey and career. They need to look up to, not just myself, but the staff and know what it takes to get to where they want to be, so if I can form that bond with the players [then it is good]. I love all the young boys here; they are all really good players so I try to do that

It is just a constant. It is a constant with how you are with them every day. How much you want to work with them on the training ground. How much you want to maybe sometimes delve into their personal lives, have a word about it and make sure that they are OK. I think all those things where they feel comfortable with the way they interact with you is huge. I think that’s a line you have to make sure you get right and I like to think I do. But, you would have to ask the players that. It is not like I am hanging about with them playing PlayStation and stuff! I do draw the line somewhere

It made me feel great, it made me feel great. Moments like that, it becomes very easy as you get older to not jump back into the 24-year-old’s head and understand what things like that make them feel. It doesn’t have to be you are the best player in the world but it is positive talking in some ways about where they want to get to with an overlying edge about the way you work every day. When Jose said that to me, it wasn’t like I went and did step-overs all day. It was drive, drive, drive and to try to be that and win titles. It was a really well-put message, so yes, I would try to do that with players. His imprint on the squad and what he did to us in his time at the club us was huge, of course! He took a very talented team that came second the year before that was bursting as a club to win the title and he played a massive part in that. We won back-to-back titles in a fantastic way and, of course, as manager he takes huge credit

2019 12 22 Retrieve

[Lampard defends Rudiger from Mourinho jibe] In some countries, like mine, for example with our culture we used to say clever player. But in this country, and one of the reasons I fell in love with this country in 2004, we don’t call them clever, we call them other things that I refuse to call

It was a red card. I don’t know how much he’s supposed to make out of it. I think Son is a great player and, I don’t know him, from the outside he looks like a great person. But sometimes in football you have instinctive moments. It happened, it was a bit of a reflex. Maybe sometimes in a game where you’re having it really tough and it’s going against you a little bit and I think it was that [type of] moment. I will not have any words said about how Toni Rudiger dealt with that

[Lampard insisted his respect for Mourinho remains undimmed] I think to go up against a manager who I respect so much from my playing days and for what he’s done in the game and win, that obviously feels good. He spoke before the game about how he really loves me but he wants to beat me. That’s completely understandable and that’s how I went into this game. It should never change that, even if we have anything on the line in the heat of the 90 minutes, which we didn’t. What Jose has done with his career and what he’s done for me as a player means I have respect for him

2019 12 22b Retrieve

[Jose Mourinho says Chelsea triumphed thanks to Conte’s midfield system] Conte’s system? No, it didn’t factor at all. I don’t know if I want to go through all the players, but I am sure half of the players on the pitch weren’t there. I know Tomori wasn’t, Mason Mount wasn’t, Tammy Abraham. I’m not trying to clone anyone’s system. In fact, I think Conte’s system was an incredible one that won the league with Chelsea. The way we play and the message I give is different. It is not as simple that if you play 4-3-3 that you are cloning someone else, otherwise you are all cloning each other. It was more, ‘Can this be a system that helps us defensively and offensively against Tottenham?’ The way they play. That was my choice to play it, not whether players understand it. Having said that the players took the plan on incredibly well

2019 12 22c Retrieve

[Lampard has been strong on racism this season with another incident involving Kurt Zouma with his own fans also coming in August] All I know is that Toni Rudiger said he heard a racist chant towards him. I haven’t had an individual conversation with Toni. I have only addressed the group and a couple of the lads in doping. Of course I am going support Toni, as we would support any of our players or opposition players if this happens, whatever stadium it happens at. It needs to be dealt with. As I don’t know any more than that, we will wait for the process to happen

2019 12 22d Retrieve

[Lampard excited for Bayern test] It’s a tough draw, but a good draw. We knew that when we get through the group stages, you’re generally in with some big teams and we have certainly drawn one. We have history with them, of course, but these will be games in themselves that will be very testing. We will be ready for the challenge

2019 12 22e Retrieve

[Lampard says win over rivals Tottenham ‘means a lot’] It means a lot to me but it’s about the club and the fans. The fans have come here after a number of losses and they have backed us. They know we are a young team and what we are trying to achieve. My players showed they could fight and play against a top team, because Tottenham are a good team. Today we were everything that’s why we should be celebrating. We are not over excited but we are pleased with the performance. They are a major rival and it shows the players what they can do under pressure and what they need to do to survive in games. You cannot fault their commitment. When you play with a three at the back, it’s not easy - especially here. You have to be brave and they are all that

[Lampard believes Tottenham were lucky not to have another player sent off in the build up to Chelsea’s second goal] I think the penalty should have been a red card, he has flown at him. I don’t think he means to do it so I can understand why it is not, it is probably fair. The Son incident was a red card, he acted out and that is a red card no matter how hard.

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[Lampard opted to try a new 3-4-3 formation against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham, with the hope that the inclusion of an extra centre-back would help to keep the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli quiet] The way we play it and the message I give is different. It was more, can this be a system that helps us defensively and offensively against Tottenham, with the way they play? It was my choice to play it, not to do with whether the players understand it. The players took the plan on incredibly well, as we all saw. Watching Tottenham, they’re playing very well, they have a lot of players who can run behind and cause you problems: Son, Kane, Alli, Moura. Having an extra centre-back gives you an element of protection against that, particular with the athletic centre-backs we have. They never got in on that pass today

[Lampard added on his decision to push Mount and Willian further forward] The most important factor in my thinking was what it could give us offensively, in terms of controlling possession. Tottenham defended quite compact, we needed to use the width of the pitch and wing-backs help you do that. We haven’t been clinical enough lately, and it allowed us to get Mason Mount and Willian slightly inside behind Tammy. We had an element of protection the way it worked. Also, it allowed us to have loads of control of the ball. I’m so pleased with how it went

2019 12 23b Retrieve

[Conte was almost too wedded to 3-4-3 at Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri was fully committed to 4-3-3 and, for Lampard, he will use a combination of the two] Yes, possibly [we will use it more]. Today, we know Tottenham play a lot of balls in behind. They go longer sometimes, can run and they are quick and dangerous so an extra centre-back was always going to work with that, you hope. In terms of keeping the ball, Tottenham we know are defensively very good but we wanted to use the sides of the pitch to open up the game. That takes a bit of bravery and confidence to come here and play, play, play like we did. We will see going forward. I think sometimes there’s an argument to play it. Sometimes we say do we need an extra defender? That’s for us going forward, so we will see

2019 12 24 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard disappointed by Mourinho’s criticism of Antonio Rudiger’s integrity following Son Heung-min red card] With Toni and this incident and he is having to post about a huge deal, to question him is disappointing. what I heard and post-match the Son challenge was a red card. Not a brutal one, but a red card. I wouldn’t question Toni’s integrity on that. There were a couple of incidents that Tottenham players went over in the box to try to win a penalty

[Lampard went on to praise Rudiger for speaking from the heart after being targeted by racist supporters] I spoke to him briefly after the game. The lads were off yesterday. I saw his social media post. I thought it was well put and from the heart. I will speak to him this morning. I would like to think the players know I am behind them on this

[Lampard hopes the performance will serve as confidence boost for his side as they negotiate their way through the rest of the festive period] I think it was [a boost]. Going to Tottenham, in good form with the character, fight and strength we showed makes it the best performance. I hope it helps them. For the young ones, there is a bit of a mixture. Hopefully, within the group the result gives us confidence

2019 12 24b Retrieve

[Lampard aims De Bruyne & Salah dig at Mourinho when promising patience with Chelsea youngsters] If we’re not patient and we don’t stick with the players then you might be in a situation where we have been before, where top world-class players have been at Chelsea when they were 20 or 21, but the managers maybe didn’t stick with them so much then. I’m in a position where I’m going to stick with them

[Lampard added on the back of a 2-0 derby victory over Spurs which saw Chelsea blend youth and experience once again] I hope the win helps the whole squad, and the younger players in particular. Some were in the Championship last year, some are getting new tests they’ve never had before this season, but some have been here before, beaten top-six teams and won championships over the years. There is a little bit of a mixture, but as a group we are quite fresh and a little bit transitional this year, and hopefully it sends a little statement to ourselves. I don’t mind how everyone outside reacts about it, but for ourselves it should give us confidence. I wasn’t of the belief they couldn’t give a reaction. I believe in these players, and the young players

Mason Mount’s performance, not just to isolate Mason because Tammy and Tomori were fantastic, but his performance against Tottenham was a great example of why you want to stick with and have patience with these young players. He’s a young boy, there will be moments when a game will be difficult for him, and he’ll learn in the next one and better, and there will be games like the one on Sunday where you see the player he is

2019 12 24c Retrieve

[Lampard had no doubt that Son deserved the red card as he jumped to Rudiger’s defence] It was a red card. I don’t know how much he’s supposed to make out of it. I will not have any words said about how Toni Rudiger dealt with that

2019 12 26 Retrieve

[Lampard left frustrated as Chelsea’s home struggles continue in Southampton defeat] It felt the same as recent games. They were organised. We need to be better at breaking teams down. I think we have enough to be better than we were today. It needs to be a quick learning process now. When there is no space it’s a different question.

Teams are making it difficult here. We are not making enough chances, we were at the beginning of the season. We are being asked a different question at home. At the moment we are not answering them. We do not manage to pick up that final pass. Against Tottenham we had space to make runs and today we had none. It changes things. We did not do it right today. I think if at the start of the season we would have been happy where we are. We are good away but we have to make it difficult to come here

[With his side trailing 1-0 at half-time, Lampard replaced centre-back Kurt Zouma with midfielder Mason Mount, but the 20-year-old did not have the impact the coach had hoped for] It had a small impact but it did not change the result. Mason has been feeling rough the last few days. It brightened it a bit but not enough. We controlled the game but we are not getting anything in the box. It’s a testing period but we have to deal with that

2019 12 26b Retrieve

[Lampard confirms Chelsea in discussions with Willian over new contract] He’s in talks with the club. He speaks with the club on the money side of it. The experience helps when you have got a young team, when the other options are younger, experience certainly helps. All his team-mates love him - he’s a low-maintenance player to have in the squad; so yes I am really happy with him. He’s great for me, especially when he plays like he did the other day - it was an incredible performance

[Lampard was eager to get the most out of the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk man upon taking over as Chelsea head coach in July] He has that talent. I knew he had that talent before I got the job. If there was one thing I wanted from him at the start of the season it was a question of: ‘Can you score more goals because your talent says that you should do?’ That means sometimes running into space behind defenders, and getting the other side, and he is doing all those things. The last year or two I have looked at him from afar and wasn’t sure how much he was enjoying it, whether he felt happy in games. A bit of body language, in and out sometimes. My feeling at the start of the season was to tell him how much I feel about him and how I see him; get him fit, get him working off the ball because I know he can. And the rest in terms of what he does on the ball I can kind of let him do that, because he has this incredible ability to burst away from people

2019 12 26c Retrieve

[Lampard says Chelsea ‘need to make goals and score goals’ after Southampton loss] We beat Aston Villa here but that was wedged between West Ham and Bournemouth. Teams have obviously been organised, we wouldn’t expect any different. We control a lot of the ball, but we do not do enough with the ball around the box. I think it’s been the story for us for a while, not just in recent times. We need to get better because we need a better home record. What we need to do, the players on the pitch, whoever they are need to make goals and score goals. It’s the hardest thing to do in football. It’s a challenge for all of us. We knew this was not going to be easy road. We have found now that when teams make it difficult for us and do not give us space, we are finding it tough and so it clearly needs to improve. We need to tough it out and get over it quickly. Personality is a huge thing in football - you cannot let that beat you

2019 12 26d Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says Chelsea need to be more consistent if they hope to achieve their top-four ambitions] It’s a clear statement that you need a form of consistency to come in the top four because it’s the Premier League - everyone is striving for it. We are in it at Christmas; people would probably have doubted that, so I think from that perspective we can be relatively happy. But if we want to stay there we have to move onwards and upwards, rather than look backwards, we clearly need to win more than we have won recently at home

[Chelsea boss conceded it is after defeats when he will learn even more about his players] After Tottenham we were the greatest thing in the world, they were the greatest players and I was a great manager, and today it’s questioned. That’s when you see the strength of character of someone

2019 12 28 Retrieve

[Chelsea have not won a single point from losing positions this season] It was the same story [as those games]. Players have to go one-v-one if you’re an offensive player. Play around the corner, join in, mix up your game and break defensive lines because teams aren’t stupid, they are well organised and you need to do more in an attacking sense. You can’t have near on 70 per cent of possession and control - particularly the first half - and not do more. Not hit better crosses, not hit better final passes, not get more clear chances at goal from our point of view

[Lampard should also have a look at himself over his side’s lack of comebacks when he has the power to make game-changing substitutions] We have to be brutal with ourselves as well. It is all well and good feeling on top of the world after beating Tottenham but we need to reproduce it in different ways against different opposition in different games

2019 12 29 Retrieve

[Lampard laments ‘awful’ Chelsea first-half showing despite comeback win at Arsenal] We were so awful for 30 mins. Slow, lethargic, nervous. The opposite of against Tottenham [who Chelsea beat 2-0]. We gave Arsenal everything they wanted. We made the change early, felt it had to be done. Second half we dominated. From my point of view, you can accept a missed pass but you can’t accept lethargy in a London derby. The players were told that and they delivered. The second half was nothing to do with tactics; it was all to do with spirit and desire

After 10 minutes or so it was clear that Arsenal had seen us play against Tottenham and made it into a back five instead of a back three. They were on top and there was a lack of balance to our team. The sub gave us another man in midfield and gave us more urgency

[Chelsea have lost three of their last four Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, most recently against Southampton on Boxing Day] I still haven’t bounced back from Boxing Day mentally. In our next home games, we’ll do everything we can to turn the corner. We’re still in fourth and want more and the home games have been different, so we have to focus on them when they come around

2019 12 29b Retrieve

[Lampard confirms contract talks with Chelsea talent Lamptey] We’ll see. Tariq Lamptey’s talking with the club and hopefully he feels a bit of love from today as we’ve parachuted him in. He was actually on his Christmas break when we called him in yesterday. He trained and then played. I’d seen him when I was doing my coaching badges and you do a lot of hours with the academy and youth team. I saw him train a lot and I know he has a different dimension as a right-sided wing back. He has pace, low centre of gravity and can go by people. Of course he wants to work on his end product and all the last bits

My question to Jody when he came on was whether he had got the confidence and personality to deal with this, a tough game with responsibility to try and turn it. Jody said: ‘Yeah, no problem’. When he drove inside and slipped Tammy in I thought it was a great example of someone coming on and being fearless. Sometimes that’s what you get with youth

2019 12 29c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard knows new head coach Mikel Arteta will soon have to turn Arsenal’s fortunes around] I certainly found that it helps with knowing some faces behind the scenes, knowing the values, what the standards are and what the wants are. I think that can help probably in the early stages. I think after that, it probably levels out and your work is your work. No, [the honeymoon period] doesn’t [last forever] and it shouldn’t. But I’m sure fans will have a feeling for Arteta and want him to do well being one of their own

[Arteta is in his first head coaching position, but Lampard does not see his inexperience being a big factor given his work with Guardiola] He has worked under one of the greatest if not the greatest [managers] for a couple of years. I think you don’t know until you take the chance with somebody. Who’s to say a manager is better or worse if they are in their first or 50th year of management? He was a very good player - intelligent, technical. He seemed to be a leader, not a fist-pumping kind but a leader in whatever teams he was playing in. I think the years he’s had working with Guardiola put him in great stead. I don’t think the question mark will be that. I think it will be purely on Arteta, the quality of him, and can he get Arsenal to the position they want to be in? Now it’s his turn to make those decisions himself

2019 12 29d Retrieve

[Lampard: I’ll always respect David Luiz - he played in the Champions League final with half a hamstring] What I don’t want to do is look like it’s a personal question going into a game against a player I respect and played with. If you look at our defenders and the emergence of Tomori, that’s obviously been a big plus for us, but it was just a decision that was made and while I’m here I’ll be making countless more of those in different ways. I certainly wish David well when he leaves this club. He was part of a Champions League-winning team, played with half a hamstring in the final, I know that. [He] got himself fit when he was under pressure with the injury and I will always respect that

[Arteta has taken on his first head-coaching post with the Gunners and Lampard feels he was destined for the role] [He was] a very good player, a very intelligent player, very technical player. Seemed to be a leader, not a fist-pumping kind of leader, but a leader in whatever teams he was playing in. He looks like he could be well-suited to management. I do wish him well – obviously not on Sunday – but I wish him well because when you see a fresh manager come into a job like that, I understand the strains and the pressures of it and the desires to want to do well in it. On a personal level I wish him well

[Lampard feels Arteta’s grounding as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City for three-and-a-half years has prepared him for his new job] He’s worked under one of the greatest, if not the greatest, for a couple of years there. He was always an intelligent player and now has worked for that. I don’t buy the whole ‘inexperienced’ one. I think you don’t know until you take the chance with somebody and who’s to say that managers are better or worse because they’re in their first or 50th year of management? I don’t buy it

2019 12 30 Retrieve

[Lampard gave another debut to an academy graduate in 19-year-old Tariq Lamptey against Arsenal and the Chelsea manager has admitted that talks with the young full-back are ongoing as his deal is due to expire in the summer of 2020] We’ll see. He’s talking with the club and hopefully he feels a bit of love from today as we’ve parachuted him in. He was actually on his Christmas break when we called him in yesterday. He trained and then played

2019 12 31 Retrieve

[Lampard says Chelsea must get recruitment right to compete with Liverpool] That has to be the aim. The transfer ban was one thing. It gave the staff a chance to look at the players, see what we have got and look at the youth. That has been good and the more and more I see us play and the good and the bad, you change your feelings about how you want to go forward but the endgame will always be the same.

Once we can start bringing players in and the young players start to hopefully mature and get better we want to bridge that gap to go up there. Whether we can do that next year, I don’t know. That will depend on the work we do and whether it hits home but I will certainly not leave any stone unturned in how I try to work to get us there. But there are too many variables. We have to get recruitment right, that will be a huge deal.

Not just who the individuals are that come in, but can they help influence the way we play and the way we want to play? I have got a clear idea of what that is, it didn’t look like the first 30 minutes against Arsenal, but we’ve shown at times this year that we’ve got a chance

[Lampard said that his side’s recruitment will be a collaborative effort, with several individuals key to Chelsea’s transfer business] We are joined up in terms that I have very close conversations with [Chelsea director] Marina [Granovskaia], very close conversations with Petr Cech and Scott [McLachlan] who is the head of our recruitment department. They know what I want and I will be fundamentally in the middle of who and what we bring into the club. As it stands, we are very open about that. If it feels right from my side on the footballing point in January, from the club side on the club point in January, then we will make the moves we make. It is a joint-up effort.

2019 12 31b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard defends Hudson-Odoi from social media criticism] Unfortunately with social media that is par for the course, it doesn’t make it right or wrong. I haven’t seen it but unfortunately that is something that you have to have a very thick skin about. I said it after the Southampton game, he is a young player, just 19, had a lot of talk about him for different reasons which is not all of his doing, there has been a big microscope on him and I think we actually do have to give him time and patience with how young he is.

I have got no problems with him, I thought he did well when he came on at Arsenal, that should be a nice little boost for him and I think Chelsea fans will be absolutely behind him. They want to see passion, they want to see all those things as well as the ability to go past people which he has got. He needs to understand what is needed and he is working on that constantly, I’ll back him and work with him on that. At 19 it is a lot to say that one performance, something where he plays the other day where he comes in after being out of the team, ‘you must produced instantly or you’ll get social media giving it to you’.

We have to be level-headed and I will certainly try and protect him against that. Little snippets like against Arsenal, coming on and looking bright, going past people and hitting cross-field passes. He needs to develop more but he absolutely has the talent to do a lot more. At 19 there are not too many that are playing in the Premier League every week, especially at a club like ourselves. He does have competition in those areas. His consistency needs to be how he works, how he trains every day and how much pressure he puts on me to play him and get into the team. That is one thing he will strive for but from all the conversations I have had with him in the last few weeks - and I have had a few - he understands what he needs to do on and off the pitch. I will certainly stick with him

[Chelsea have recently seen a run of niggling injuries take hold over the winter period] [For Pulisic], It is a small hamstring [problem]. I wouldn’t even call it an injury - after the Southampton game the lads did some strides and he felt cramp. He has trained at a low level; for me it was more precautionary against Arsenal. We need our wingers; we need him going into an important period. [Reece James is] hopefully a week or 10 days. He’s had a bit of a niggle around his ankle injury which he had surgery on in pre-season so that was a bit of a worry, the doctors are saying it will be a week or so. Alonso is similar; it is a back - top of the glute - kind of muscle injury. They are both in a similar boat, not terrible injuries but missing at a pretty crucial time. [Cesar Azpilicueta] felt it at Tottenham and came off towards the end, against Southampton he was feeling it during the game but with Reece James injured the options are less - he’s a fighter so he stayed on. But today he says that he felt better so fingers crossed it will be more precautionary

2020 01 01 Retrieve

[Lampard concerned by Chelsea’s lack of consistency after not being ‘ruthless’ in Brighton draw] It was frustrating for different reasons. In the first half, the game was there to be won. We weren’t ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had the possession. But we just didn’t kill the game off. We allowed them to stay in the game. In the end it was a wonder goal but we were lucky not to lose the game. In the end, the tactics matched up for both teams but they were better than us. We have to take that on the chin

[The lack of consistency] is a concern. It’s something we absolutely have to look at. We have to look at the game today. It’s a point, I’m not happy with the performance.

2020 01 01b Retrieve

[Lampard won’t talk about reported Chelsea target Wilfried Zaha and ‘hasn’t considered’ Giroud swap deal] I wouldn’t talk about Zaha and the idea of that deal is something I have never even considered. As I say I won’t talk about Zaha because he is not a player of ours. If we have to do business we will do it in the way we see fit to try and make us better and that’s behind closed doors as opposed to just announcing who we might want to bring in

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[Lampard’s side are impossible to predict] Tottenham was a fantastic all-round performance. ‘[At] Arsenal [we] showed great spirit and fight for a young group. Southampton, we struggled to break a team down and lost at home

Then today where we should have the mindset to kill it, because the opportunity was there in the first half, and we don’t. It shows the good and the bad of us. That shows we must remain humble. We must work hard. We’ve had two great results over Christmas but there’s a lot of work to do

[Are Chelsea ruthless finishers? Do they know what it takes to grind out a result? No and no. To get the next level, these players must learn it on the pitch. Lampard has spoken of it being a ‘process’ to educate his players to learn that elusive skill] It’s not that the mindset is there, it’s just how you work to try and win games, you have to deal with them in the game and that is part of the process

Sometimes you can accuse a bad period in a game of a lack of fight, lack of urgency, lack of whatever. Today wasn’t. It was a lack of quality on the ball so we had a situation in the first half when we knew the problem for them.

We could find our full-backs easily, keep control of the ball easily and we just decided not to keep doing that, not to keep doing the simple things. Then all of a sudden you’re giving the ball away and when you are getting opportunities to score, you’re not taking them and if you don’t do that at this level then you’re not going to win games that you should

2020 01 05 Retrieve

[Lampard issues Hudson-Odoi challenge after Chelsea FA Cup win] It was a good performance. I was pleased to see him high up the pitch, pleased to see him being aggressive in how he gets at people, which is what he is there for. He gets his goal with a great strike.

It has been an interesting 12 months for him considering how young he is, when you take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury, he comes back very early and when he did come back there were issues getting him tip top.

This was a nice step forward for him. Next time it will be, ‘Can you do more?’. When you are a player of speed and sharpness, when you have an injury like that it can be slightly held back. There is a lot of strength work he needs to do – stuff on the pitch and in the gym now we’re getting him towards the point where he has that acceleration. As a player he is 19 and he has had that injury so there is a lot more to come from him

[The future of Olivier Giroud , an unused substitute against Forest with Michy Batshuayi deputising for the rested Tammy Abraham, also remains up in the air] There’s no update on Oli and my answer remains the same as it has done recently. I have spoken with him. If the conditions are that it is something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and for me and the squad, then it’s something that could happen. But it’s only when all three bases are covered. So, we’re still there

2020 01 06 Retrieve

[Hudson-Odoi was caught on his Achilles during the game against Nottingham Forest] It’s been an interesting 12 months for him considering how young he is, when you take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury, he comes back very early and when he did come back there were issues getting him tip-top

2020 01 06b Retrieve

[Lampard admits Giroud leaving Chelsea is ‘something that could happen’ in January] There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him. If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen. But only when all of those bases are covered. So we’ll see if we’re there

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[Lampard insists Pedro is not for sale] He is part of my plans, I started the season and he was in my team, and then, unfortunately, he got injured at Norwich before the game, and I had to make a change. Then he was out for a while, and I do have competition in that area

He has had bits here and there, I know he wants more games, I get that. But he certainly has something that he can contribute here with his experience and his ability to break lines and run behind people and maybe get those goals in and around the box.

He is here, I know his contract is up at the end of the season but I am not even looking that far ahead. He is here, he is part of the squad and I need everybody because football can change very quickly. There can be a period of games where you are on the bench, out of the squad, something changes an that is the moment that you have to come in and produce. I have got no winners in this game, I want the club to be the winner. People come in and do well, they stay in the team

[Lampard believes that Kepa Arrizabalaga doesn’t need to measure himself by clean sheets] I will always take into consideration the confidence levels of all the players. Goalkeeper a specific position and they are normally very obsessed with clean sheets, sometimes I think overly so because I think they take too much on their shoulders because clean sheets are an absolute collective.

So I will always hope that he feels confident. It is a balance between confidence and players being on edge knowing that we want them to produce, so he has made good saves recently, vs Brighton. I’m always happy with that because that is what he is there for, that’s his job, making saves to win us points. I’m happy with that so long may that continue. Shay Given – no, loved working with him but I am very happy with that I have got now

2020 01 10b Retrieve

[Lampard happy to see Tammy Abraham break Chelsea’s No.9 curse] I am really impressed because when the No.9 shirt was available quite a few people around here were saying to me: ‘Ooh, be careful, that’s not always had the best feeling in different players here. It was my decision to give it to him purely on his personality in pre-season. I knew he was a good player and I liked him on the training ground but his personality is one that he was saying: ‘Yes please, I want that, I want to be Chelsea’s No.9.’

It was an easy thing to feel and say at that point but to then go produce like he has done is a great start. And it’s a start. He needs to keep going because he is probably at that stage now where everyone is starting to expect Tammy to play well, score and affect games in a big way. And that brings a new challenge and that is his one now. When it [the No. 9 shirt] was mentioned, it made me think twice and go, ‘Oh, actually, what is the situation here?’ because he is a young boy.

If you’re signing a 25-year-old who has scored multiple goals in a different league or in the Premier League you might see it differently and it would be a really easy decision, but the question with a young boy is does he need that pressure? My opinion was yes.

I saw him coming through the ranks here for such a long time from being a young boy and for me, it was like he must have always wanted to be Chelsea’s No.9. That was his aim at all times. I know he used to idolise Didier Drogba. So he thought, ‘I want to be Chelsea’s mainline striker’ and the No.9 is generally that so I thought it was an opportunity for him to rise to that hopefully

[Lampard says he is ready to let Olivier Giroud go and he thinks having Abraham and Michy Batshuayi is enough for a team that normally plays with just one striker] We have some adaptable players in our team who could take up different roles so that would have to come into my thinking [if a striker got injured]. Again, that’s my job. I’m going into it now. I have to make those decisions as I go along. I also have to think about the makeup of the squad, the spirit of the squad and I also have a human level where I look at people and players, how they are, how they train and how the squad could be affected in lots of different ways. [about Giroud’s attitude], he is an absolute professional

Oli has been great as well and I respect him for that and that slightly comes into my thinking as well. The club will always come first. If I feel the decision to keep everybody in the January window that will be my decision too. Nothing is done yet so we can probably broach these questions if and when something is done. I am not worried [about Giroud’s attitude], he is an absolute professional

[Gareth Southgate has consistently called up the Blues striker this season after his run of good form and Lampard says Abraham knows he is competing with the Spurs man for England caps] He should always be thinking that. He’s not silly. You know who your competitors are whether it is to get into our team or the England team. So those things you see the environment about yourself. What I love about Tammy is that it just won’t be Harry Kane, he would do well but he should be taking markers from Harry Kane’s game himself. Tammy will be watching every type of striker and trying to improve himself at all times. And that’s the only important thing because the rest will fall into place

2020 01 10c Retrieve

[Chelsea exit for Andreas Christensen ruled out amid talk of AC Milan move] I can rule it out. I like Andreas as a player. I’ve always liked him. I used to train with him and saw the talent coming through. What I want from Andreas to be is the best he can be. When you see him and you see the height, the athleticism and the quality on the ball, particularly in choice of pass, then I think he can be all the things I want him to be and I want to work towards that. He knows that

[Pressed on what he feels Christensen needs to improve] The reality is we have competition at centre-back. They’re not easy conversations for me because I have to choose on what I see and generally most weeks, two of them won’t be that happy. One particularly not happy. But as with all the players I want to work on parts of the game I think they can improve and with Andreas you can watch him against Aston Villa and he was immense.

He was great to watch, he had everything in a centre-back, and then sometimes if we are coming up against teams that are physical and ask a question then Andreas really has to stand up. I don’t mind saying it because I think he knows he needs to know that. But what I will say those little bits in his game can really make him the fantastic centre-half I think he can be. And he is certainly a player that gets slightly misjudged on age. I think he’s been around a long time and went on loan at a young age and did particularly well and people think that he’s probably older than he is. He’s still relatively young so that’s absolutely on his side

2020 01 10d Retrieve

[Lampard confirms Chelsea will be without Pulisic for a ‘few weeks’ due to adductor injury] Pulisic is out, he will be out for a few weeks. Adductor injury. It’s disappointing for us and we will have to see how quickly he recovers because it is quite a nasty injury. It is a damaging miss. Before Christmas, he did report a bit of tiredness so he came out of the team and I was worried about injury. He is a very talented player, where he can make things happen

[Lampard also delivered an update on Ruben Loftus Cheek who has yet to feature for Chelsea this season] He [Loftus Cheek] is out, still for a while. We are hoping we can get him doing collective training at some point, maybe with the academy

[Lampard is wary of the threat posed by the Clarets] Burnley have a good record at the Bridge, very organised style and they can hurt you. It’s almost like, not the worst game you can play, but a team who can hurt you

2020 01 10e Retrieve

[Moussa Dembele not a target for Chelsea boss Lampard despite Giroud edging towards exit] Moussa Dembele is a player I know and the club know. I am surprised to see his name pop up so regularly when it is not popping up so regularly in my conversations to be brutally honest.

There are quite a few players in the last week that I can say the same about. I respect and I know he is another team’s player. Of course, and I have spoken about, the need to strengthen in high areas with goalscorers. We have been found pretty short in the home games recently. The idea of people being clinical - they are hard to find. I will only go that way if I know we are improving the squad that we have already.

At the minute, we are still working very hard on the training ground and in games to get that right ourselves. I don’t want to go cut and dry on anybody [regarding Dembele], as I said to you, it is not one I am openly talking about. If it is a decision then I will be a big part of that decision

[He said of Giroud] I said it after our last game, with Oli the situation is if it is right for everybody, first and foremost that’s us the club, because he is under contract then we will look at whether he will leave the club. I think he has been a great professional here. He has trained brilliantly through this season even without many opportunities. So I hold him in a high regard in that respect but I still have to make a decision for the football club and nothing is done yet. I think everyone is talking about it [Giroud potentially leaving] so I am not going to beat around the bush. I think his agent has spoken to the club [Inter] but until we decide it is the right thing then it is not done

[Lampard added on whether any transfers are imminent] No, not at the moment but when I say that, what is close? It is January. I have said if it is right then we will look at it. We are not imminent, you are not going to have any big news today or tomorrow

2020 01 10f Retrieve

[Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud is eager to reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter Milan after receiving a contract offer from the Nerazzurri] There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him. If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen. But only when all of those bases are covered. So we’ll see if we’re there

2020 01 11 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says Reece James’ attacking prowess from full-back is proving a huge asset for Chelsea] He’s got a great, great delivery of cross and more than that. He’s good on the ball, he’s physically so good and he’s so young. This is just the start for him. The way I want us to play, the full-backs are going to be huge for us. If I want to get it right and get it to where I want it they have to be able to join in, they have to be an attacking threat.

He certainly is for us. He’s a big weapon at the minute that we have to use well. We have to anticipate those crosses now because they come in with a lot of juice on them. We have to be ready to anticipate and get across people and make goals like we did with the Tammy one

[Abraham moved on to 15 goals for the campaign] I hope he’s upset tonight because he should have had two or three. That’s how a striker will be. I know Tammy Abraham’s like that. At the same time, he got his goal. He keeps getting in there, his energy, his personality on the pitch. He’s that all-round striker. Obviously the next stage is can you be a bit more clinical but I’m delighted with Tammy

2020 01 11b Retrieve

[Lampard looking for Callum Hudson-Odoi to become ‘serious player’ after statement showing for Chelsea] For Callum to score in the six-yard box is far more exciting for me than for him to score from 35 yards, without a doubt. Because it means that he’s prepared to run the extra bit to sprint in there. And that wasn’t the only time he did it; he did it on one of the early chances we had in the first half. He was doing it, recovering, going higher up the pitch at the right times. And his overall performance was an absolute statement for Callum of what he needs to do. That was the real Hudson-Odoi and what he can be because there’s obviously more to come. But I thought his goal was brilliant for him, and if he can carry on doing that, then it’s a serious player we have in Callum

I hope he’s upset tonight because he should have had two or three. I know he’s like that but at the same time, he got his goal. He keeps getting in there, with his energy and personality on the pitch. He was that all-round striker. And the next stage is can you be that more clinical, but I’m delighted with Tammy

[Lampard set his side up to be attacking against the Clarets, with only Jorginho holding in midfield] It didn’t feel like a risk but it felt like a decision that was right for the game. Because I expected us to have a lot of ball, I’m aware we haven’t scored enough goals at home recently. And I felt that I want to get players on the pitch that can get goals, are driven to score goals. Ross Barkley can score, assist and is a great technician on the ball. So that was my thinking behind it. And the other thing against Burnley [is] you have to fight. So I thought if we match them in the fight, hopefully our attacking players could get us the goals that they did

It’s one performance at home, and the message has to be continuous. But it’s a nice example of a standard that we’ve set, and we have to match that. I’m not getting carried away, it just feels good; it was nice to smile in a game and enjoy what you’re watching, really positive football, great movement off the ball, getting combination down the side, crossing balls a lot and looking like we’re going to score goals. That’s what excites the fans. I felt for the fans in some of the recent home games. I understand it’s not that exciting when the level of the speed comes down. We just changed all that

2020 01 11c Retrieve

[Kante hamstring injury confirmed by Chelsea] Kante reported some feeling in his hamstring yesterday after training. We gave him overnight to see how it was but it wasn’t good enough this morning so not good enough to play. Everybody knows how important N’Golo is for us but these things always give an opportunity and it opens the door for Ross Barkley to come in and play

[Lampard said of Giroud] There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him. If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen. But only when all of those bases are covered. So we’ll see if we’re there

2020 01 11d Retrieve

[Chelsea progress Tariq Lamptey’s contract talks as PSG, Wolves & Nice monitor defender’s situation] We’ll see, he’s talking with the club and hopefully he feels a bit of love that we’ve parachuted him in. I’d seen him when I was doing my coaching badges and you do a lot of hours with the academy and youth team. I saw him train a lot and I know he has a different dimension as a right-sided wing-back. He has pace, a low centre of gravity and can go by people. Of course he wants to work on his end product and all the last bits

2020 01 12 Retrieve

[Lampard: Ross Barkley is of equal value to Kante and Chelsea midfield rivals] I speak a lot with Ross, I really like him and his character. He came to me a couple of weeks ago and he said to me that he’s just starting to feel good. It was a niggling injury and he’s just starting to feel released from it.

Today was the performance we want out of Ross, it was so positive. You saw his quality on the ball. He can hit the right-foot ball, left-foot ball, take the ball well. He looked confident today. That’s part of Ross’ game that you could question from the outside: how confident is he when things go against him?

We know exactly what Ross can do. He is an England player, he is playing for Chelsea and deservedly so. He has given me a lot of thinking to do with that performance today. I do have my issues in terms of my selection here but I have no winners in terms of who I like more or less. ‘He is a better bloke than that one’ – no. It’s what works for us. It’s what’s good out on the pitch.

Ross was a selection where people might have thought: ‘Oh, Ross and Mason Mount in midfield?’ - they both showed why they should be there today. It’s not easy for the midfielders. I’ve had to have little difficult conversations with pretty much all of them at some point this season. That’s a good thing in terms of selection for me and trying to find the right balance. Different games require different things. If everyone is firing and pushing each other then it is not a problem. Ross coming in today and performing like that is a really good problem

[Another player who caught the eye against Burnley was Reece James, with the 19-year-old full-back notching a fine assist with a trademark cross for Tammy Abraham’s headed goal] He’s a smart footballer. He takes up good positions high up the pitch at times and really wide. It was nice to see the combination between him and Callum today. It was a really dangerous one for Burnley today and we made good use of it.

Hopefully, it’s just the start of it in terms of first-team football. It’s the start of the partnership and it needs to be worked on. They both have different talents. When Callum is higher and running at people and being aggressive like he was today, and Reece is behind him, of course it is a big thing. It is not just that combination. We have a different options, Reece has brought that to the table to be fair. It will be a work in progress and hopefully it will improve

[Lampard on Reece James and England’s full-back situation] We have a lot of quality in that area. I don’t think he needs to concern himself with that. He really needs to establish himself with what he is doing now. The last few games he has done that, but that has to happen over a [consistent] period of time. I believe in Reece and his quality. If he works really hard he will get where he wants to be

2020 01 15 Retrieve

[Lampard has publicly admitted that Chelsea don’t need a replacement lined up to be able to sell Giroud, with Tammy Abraham continuing his good form and Michy Batshuayi operating as a back-up option] Not necessarily. Well listen, I think everyone is talking about it so I am not going to beat around the bush. I think his agent has spoken to the club [Inter] but until we decide it is the right thing, then it is not done

2020 01 17 Retrieve

[Lampard admits that he would consider doing a short-term deal during this transfer window and is also prepared to see no business done] I think I should be because that’s where we’re at at the moment. If it feels right for us, then we’ll do it. The players you mentioned there were top players. I think the idea of January being a time to buy players, it’s difficult for everybody – for players coming in, especially if they’re coming from a different league, for the club and for the settlement of the group.

I think that’s why we have to think ultra carefully and I do care and consider the club and where we’re going. I don’t want to make some knee-jerk reaction to say ‘here’s my first big signing’ because we couldn’t sign anyone in the summer. No, I want to do the right thing for the club. That’s why if I do it I’ll try and consider all things. It will always be in communication with the club. Hopefully, it’s the best thing for us. Whether that’s more of a short-term option or a long-term option, we’ll also have to consider

Yes, Kante’s had a few issues through the week. When I say yes, I think it’s a decision I have to make with absolute certainty but at the minute it looks like he’s good to go

[Lampard says he wants his players to enjoy life and has moved on from Ross Barkley’s misdemeanours] The good thing about being a boss is you don’t have to talk about all your things back in the day! Mind you, you can probably Google it. What I will say is there are two sides to it and I read Ross’s statements.

The first side is you should always look at yourself and I always said that about myself when I got it wrong. So look at yourself and don’t mention about anything else because society and members of the public you can’t control. The second side, I agree with, there are too many smartphones but that’s the second part of the argument because we are all so aware that there are a lot of smartphones so we are aware we have to change your way of living.

How much you trust the people you are around, your friends, all these things, unfortunately, or whatever, that’s the way the world has gone. I think you still come back to yourself and make sure you firstly act professionally and secondly be aware of those things because you can’t control the fact that the world has changed. I think we went to Lille when I got asked about that, my biggest concern was not really the bag of chips it was more the fact that we were training the next day. That is exactly where I see it and Ross knows that and I am not one to tell my lads don’t have a bag of chips, don’t have a few beers after you win a game.

Just make sure that when you think about the big scheme, you do it with the idea you have to train and perform at a level and as the game has moved forward and the speed and intensity of it even more so from my day, from eras gone by, the players have to be absolutely tip-top or this game will find you out. That’s not just a thing to Ross that is to all the players about how they live their life

2020 01 17b Retrieve

[Chelsea adopt anti-Semitism definition of IHRA] I think it’s an important statement, we hope it makes an impact, that’s the whole point. In simple terms as manager of the football club, I am proud that the club takes such a strong stance against any form of discrimination and we’ll be active in that going forward, which I think today shows. Words are one thing but actions are another, and we’ll always be very strong on that and will continue to be so

2020 01 17c Retrieve

[Barkley exit ruled out by Chelsea boss Lampard as Loftus-Cheek steps up recovery] There’s no talk here of Ross Barkley going anywhere. He’s our player. I’ve got a lot of faith in Ross. That’s news I heard like everyone else this week

[Loftus-Cheek stepping up his recovery from an Achilles rupture that has ruled him out since May] He’s training now with the Under-16s, Under-18s and then the Under-23s in a short space of time, which is good for us. The sooner he can be back with us the better. We’re working in every way. There’s a different look on his face, more smiley and happy. It’s been tough. He’s not one that’s walked around head down creating a negative atmosphere, but it’s a lonely place. He’s integrating more towards us now. It can be forgotten we’ve missed a hugely influential player. If he can be training with us after the break he might not be far away

2020 01 17d Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has previously urged his club to sign a forward because December was a month of inconsistency] I will look at all areas of the team but I think it was quite clear in the summer that if you lose Eden Hazard, who was a huge part of scoring or creating our goals last season and the season before that, you are going to have some issues up front. I think we’ve found ways as a team to still be competitive. We’ve shown that in the league and the Champions League. But if we’re going to get even better, to be more clinical in forward areas, then I think we’ll look at [bringing in players] because we’re just not converting enough chances.

I’m not here to criticise anybody because we’ve just qualified from a really tough group to get through to the next stage of the Champions League. But we have standards here and I know how much the players also want to be successful. It’s very clear [we need more quality in attack], so we’ll keep working towards it

[The Blues boss played down interest in Moussa Dembele before last week’s game against Burnley] He is a player I know and the club know. But I am surprised to see his name pop up so regularly when it is not popping up so regularly in my conversations [with the club], to be brutally honest

People who are clinical are hard to find. I will only [buy a player] if I know we are improving the squad that we have already. At the minute, we are still working very hard on the training ground and in games to get things right ourselves

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[Defend deep, win your aerial duels and hit Chelsea on the break. It is the simple, effective formula that has led to the Blues losing as many games under Frank Lampard after 23 matches this season] We can’t always rely on Tammy Abraham, we have to have goals across our front line. If we want to bridge the gap upwards, we can’t just rely on Tammy. He has been fantastic this season. It didn’t quite come off for him this evening, but that is football. I can’t complain about anything from the team, really. Of course, we don’t want to give headers away in our box. They are big, it happens, but apart from that they gave everything to try to win the game

2020 01 18b Retrieve

[Lampard bemoans Chelsea’s lack of ‘killer instinct’ in Newcastle defeat] It’s football, you have to get your head around it very quickly. I’m not always massive on stats but the feel of the game was domination. They hit the bar with a header, one of I think three headers they had in the game and they scored with one of them. Other than that, second half I don’t remember them endangering our box, we were camped around their box and creating chances.

We know we have problems at the top of the pitch, scoring goals. We don’t get enough front-line goals if we want to bridge the gap and that’s something we’ve seen a lot this season, especially at home. Today was like a home game in how we performed on the pitch and if you don’t score then you’re always liable to a sucker punch and we got it. It’s something we need to address, the instinctive nature to score the goal. We’re working on it.

We need to be clinical. We can’t make any bones about it, it’s a reality. We can’t work anymore in training on finishing. You have to have that killer instinct in front of goal. We need to score more goals from front-line areas to get where we need to be

[it is clear Chelsea need reinforcements in the final third] It doesn’t matter until it’s done. It doesn’t matter until it’s done

2020 01 19 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has once again hinted at needing new signings in his forward line] In attacking areas [is where we would look to strengthen], because we need to be more clinical. I wouldn’t say [we need] a goalscorer but we need to be more clinical in the box in terms of our front line. When we attack and spend a lot of time around the opposition’s box, we have chipped in with some goals from midfield and have people who can arrive from midfield, but the broader reality is that we need more goals from the front line

[Lampard insists not to blame young Tammy Abraham who fail to score in the 1-0 defeat away at Newcastle United] It doesn’t matter what his age, Harry Kane has afternoons, [Kylian] Mbappe, so does [Lionel] Messi. I think the one thing I would expect always is desire and trying in everything that he does and I think he always does that, to be fair. It was just a difficult afternoon. And again Newcastle absolutely get numbers in their box to defend, so to expect him to get loads of space is not right. To hope that he gives everything to try to get space, which is what he did it just didn’t quite come off, I’d say

[Lampard doesn’t believe age is to blame for inconsistency] They will be hurt and disappointed. In terms of learning, we have all felt these games before, whether it’s academy football, first-team football, Championship football, it happens. I don’t think there is a naive nature or a young nature to it. I just think it’s football and the practical nature. We don’t finish chances and you leave a team in the game and you can lose the game. They are disappointed, not just the young players but everyone. I think they gave everything and I don’t think I can complain about that too much at all. They pushed and pushed but sometimes football just does that to you

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has dismissed a suggestion from Manchester United legend Roy Keane that he avoids criticism in his job because he is English] [That comment] was the moment my ears pricked up because I don’t think being English gives you any sort of a bye from criticism. In fact, I heard quite a lot when I first got this job of [people] writing me off because I’m young and English and only had a year at Derby.

Fair play to Roy, I love watching him talk about football because of how passionate and to the point he is, but I don’t think I’ve had any byes for being English and sometimes it feels slightly different. I don’t need to name names. But certain people were saying you shouldn’t give him the job. Give it to people who have got experience of doing well in Italy or somewhere else or whatever. I don’t even know where to go with it. We were just all aware there would be those sorts of feeling.

I don’t feel isolated [as an English manager in the Premier League]. A manager that comes from another country will get praise or criticism. A manager that is English and home-grown will get praise or criticism at different points of their career. That is why I try not to get drawn on it. What I wouldn’t say is that I only get praise because I am English – I think every manager gets the same

2020 01 20b Retrieve

[Lampard says after the Watford win, with Kante missing five of Chelsea’s six games during their best winning run of the season] It’s great to watch, I enjoyed watching their play. The link between Jorginho and Kovacic and Mason [Mount], their comfort on the ball, their pass appreciation, their ability to find a forward pass or break the forward line, Kovacic in particular driving through the midfield at times, I thought they were outstanding

2020 01 20c Retrieve

[Victor Moses close to Inter loan move with €10m option to buy after returning to Chelsea] With Oli [Giroud] there isn’t much more to say. On Victor Moses, he is coming back with a view to going somewhere else. Talks are ongoing

2020 01 20d Retrieve

[Arsenal have shown signs of improvement since Mikel Arteta was drafted in to succeed Unai Emery in the managerial hot seat] It will be a very tough match. This league is so competitive. I know that they are a good team with good players. There has been a change when Arteta came on, we must be on guard and at our best

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Lampard disappointed with Chelsea draw 2-2 with 10-man Arsenal at Stamford Bridge] I am disappointed given the situation of the game. We completely deserved to go 1-0 up. For a little bit after that we were getting used to them with 10 men. But we created enough chances in the second half, it was just the same old story – we couldn’t take them

We could have had three or four goals today. Having shots, crosses and lots of ‘ooh’ moments. We have to be clinical. When gameday comes you have to have the killer instinct. We’ve not got that at the moment. We might be a bit young and a bit of transition about us but we have to have that quality. It’s nothing on the crowd, that’s about us

We didn’t defend and gifted them two goals. That’s people not doing their jobs which they should know. Moments like that lose you points at this level

2020 01 21b Retrieve

[Chelsea hold Cavani talks with PSG but no bid for wantaway striker] I think each case is different and whether it’s worked or not in certain cases, I wouldn’t let that cloud my thinking. I would do it here in a moment if I felt there was experience needed and the role and the player comes up, and they’re gettable. I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, that hasn’t worked a few times with different players’. I think everyone is different. If it felt right, then it’s something we would look at doing

2020 01 22 Retrieve

[Abraham injury leaves Chelsea short at centre forward but don’t expect new signings] I know where we need strengthening, but it is a difficult window for us. It is probably more of a short-term window. What this season has given us and continues to give us is answers on the pitch, and in areas where I think we can get better. That’s for me to get right, but not so much in this window

Tammy Abraham had a bang on his ankle; he has had ice on it. I haven’t spoken to him yet, so I can’t really update you on that

2020 01 22b Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has spoken highly of the former Palermo hitman] I played against Cavani and I always liked his mentality, his attitude and of course his goal stats speak for themselves

2020 01 22c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard encouraged Kepa Arrizabalaga to stand up under scrutiny following Chelsea’s wasteful 2-2 Premier League draw against Arsenal on Tuesday] I know there’s a focus on him at the minute. That’s top-line football. Yeah, with his feet, a couple of times he took too long and nearly gave it away. Sometimes that can change the momentum of a game. That’s something he will know, has to look at and we will look at. It’s normal. Any player, particularly goalkeepers, people will look at you. That’s when you stand up and show the mettle you’ve got. He is not the only one. We are in fourth position, which is seen as pretty good. I know and we know there should be another 10 points on the board at least on performance. All of us need to look at those finer details

[Chelsea have concerns where Tammy Abraham in visible discomfort during the latter stages of the game] I don’t know. He has got a bang on his ankle. He had ice on it. I haven’t spoken to him yet, so I can’t really update you on that

2020 01 24 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has denied transfer’s stories] The stories are not true. I’m not in conversation with Cavani so I can’t tell you that. Until anyone’s here or not here and signed somewhere else that’s the only time for me to comment on those situations about whether they’re persuadable or not

[Lampard also said Michy Batshuayi will get his chance to stake his claim for regular football with Giroud in talks to leave Chelsea] He starts tomorrow. Yes, this is a chance for him. Part of that has been … we have seen his breakthrough and the consistency of [Abraham’s] game, but yes, this is a chance for him and clearly, he certainly has got to take that chance in terms of his all-round game and goals and his overall performance. There have been times this season where he has come on and he has made a difference, and that needs to be consistent

[Willy Caballero has started all of Chelsea’s domestic cup games and Lampard thinks that he could challenge for the starting job] That’s where the goalkeeper, I suppose, is a specific position, where it’s quite well known there’s a number one and a number two. But my choice is to make that choice after the game considering the next game

2020 01 24b Retrieve

[Unconvincing Kepa Arrizabalaga faces fight to save his Chelsea career] I know there’s a focus on him at the minute. That’s top-line football. Yes, with his feet, a couple of times today he took too long and he nearly gave it away. That can sometimes change the momentum of a game. He knows that himself and he has to look at that. And we have to look at that too […] I am not looking at strengthening that position now but Kepa knows that there have been some mistakes and is honest about that

I don’t like too many stats on expected goals because it is not all that clear at times, but we are bottom of the league in terms of our numbers at home and we’re probably second only to Liverpool

2020 01 24c Retrieve

[Lampard looking for another striker at Chelsea but offers positive update on Tammy Abraham’s injury] The good news is he hasn’t fractured anything. That is the good news, but we still don’t know the full extent, it’s not clear at the moment

I think the impetus to bring in a striker or a player to get on the end of chances is there. The recent games have shown that. When you are creating 20 chances a game it is clear. With Olivier [Giroud] it is the same situation. There has been contact from other clubs. He’s still our player. There is choice. It’s not the ideal window, history has proven that. It is about getting the choice right. The club know my thoughts on it

[Chelsea considers Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare as striking reinforcements] I am aware of him, but not on my radar for this window

[Lampard on Kepa Arrizabalaga] Kepa Arrizabalaga will have to deal with that. That’s what being a footballer is about. There is spotlight on them. The important thing for that is not to get embroiled in what people are saying, not just Kepa but any player. I am not looking at strengthening that position now. Kepa knows and is honest that there have been some mistakes

2020 01 25 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says Chelsea need to sign new players in the January transfer window] There is no movement to speak of now. We got a punishment in the summer and it is meant to hurt you. We lost certainly one of the biggest players in our history and one of the most effective and dominant players in terms of what he did. That is the situation.

My job is to work every day on the training ground to make the players better and the other part for the club is how we move forward by bringing in players. We lost ground last summer, so we need to, for the short-term, push for this top four finish because I have a strong feeling where we can improve personnel-wise to take us forward. For me it’s clear. The money of it is not my job but I have to be honest and truthful. Short term recruitment is something we have to get right

I’m pleased. You can never take these games for granted. There was a full house here. I know that is not always the norm so the atmosphere was bigger. In the first half Hull weren’t great, and that’s no disrespect because in the second half they were really good and put us under pressure.

The first half was our time, when they were not quite at it, to finish the game. We had one-on-ones through the middle with their keeper. We got a little bit sloppy when we thought we were playing well and we didn’t really capitalise on chances, which imparts a bit of pressure. The cup tie carried on into the 94th minute because of us and because Hull gave it everything to try and get back in the game. The game was in the balance [when we scored our second]. You could sense it. So yes, the second goal was big for us because it gave us a cushion

2020 01 25b Retrieve

[Chelsea will be without their 15-goal top-scorer for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round trip to Hull City, meaning just a fourth start of the season in all competitions for Batshuayi] He starts [on Saturday], yes, this is a chance for him. Part of that has been how Tammy Abraham’s been - we have seen his breakthrough and the consistency of his game. But yes, this is a chance for him and clearly he certainly has got to take that chance in terms of his all-round game and goals and his overall performance

[Asked what he hopes to see from the Belgium striker against Hull] I don’t want to sit here and dissect Michy’s game, but I just want to see a performance and every time he gets to be on the pitch. There have been times this season where he has come on and he has made a difference, and that needs to be consistent. To be fair to Michy - his approach and work ethic, I cannot complain about it at all in training. I’m sure he will say he hasn’t had that many opportunities that would be normal for a player that’s played as much as him this season. But the reality of it is, when you get those opportunities, whether it’s ten minutes coming on to try and affect a game, or starts in whatever game they are, you need to try and absolutely make an impact. At times he’s made an impact. At other times not so much. The brutal reality is, I suppose Tammy’s had a really good season and his [Batshuayi’s] moments have probably not been as much as he would want. But he does have to try and make the impact in every little moment and chance he gets

2020 01 25c Retrieve

[Lampard feels ‘like a broken record’ after narrow Chelsea win in FA Cup] The good news is we are in the hat, the bad news is that it is a small example of our season. We had the game in our grasp and we play in nice patterns to finish them. But when they don’t come off you need to keep trying them. When we play well we are a good team but we don’t finish the game. We caused our own problems. It is a hard one. We work hard in front of goal and it is not coming off for us. It is going to define you. I feel like a broken record. We have the larger share of possession and shots on goal but not making those count. There is more goals to be had and control of the game. You can’t bemoan your luck, such as a deflection with the Hull goal. It is frustrating. We are making mistakes and allowing them to run two on two in the last few minutes

[Lampard stressed he hopes to see more from Batshuayi when he is given a chance to play the full 90 minutes] He gets his goal. I am pleased as a goal scorer and a striker, he wants to score goals and it helps his confidence. I am pleased. I have said all season that we can’t just rely on Tammy. Tammy has been scoring regularly. He has given us a lot. Of course, we want Michy firing and scoring goals like he did today and when he trains he needs to stay at that level because today we needed him.

I said yesterday, he trains as I want him to train and that’s not easy when you are not playing as much as you want to do but you have to go the extra mile to show that you deserve to play. When you get them opportunities then you have to, wherever they are, show it.

Today, I am happy with Michy. I am happy. Not because of just his goal. His goal was slightly fortunate but I like that. That’s how goal scorers should score those kind of goals but I just want him to keep delivering when he is training and when the opportunities come. We are at that level of football which is quite demanding and everyone judges strikers on goals and I think Michy has that in him. So I want to see a bit more

2020 01 26 Retrieve

[Loftus-Cheek needs time but Chelsea miss his goals] I think you will miss Ruben; I don’t care who you are. You’ll miss his abilities. His natural physique, his ability to move the ball well and score the goals like he did last season, that has to be a big part of his game as well

Of course, we’ve missed a player of that level and it is nice and put a smile on everyone’s face on Friday because he is popular with his team-mates too. A smile on everyone’s face to see him back

It was the first day with us fully on Friday and it was a light session so that suited him. He has a fair way to go still, and I’m not pessimistic there. He just needs a full week training with us first, a tough week

Then he will need some U23 games, and again I think the break comes at a nice time for him to work and we’ll gauge it the other side of that break and see where he is. It might be too early [to face Leicester in the U23’s on Friday].

The week’s training is the important thing because he hasn’t had that at first-team level. Then we will consider the games after that

[Lampard has become accustomed to playing without Loftus-Cheek but in recent weeks he has also been without Christian Pulisic] He is hopefully going to be training in the middle of next week. Leicester will be very tight, but hopefully after the break, it might fall at quite a nice time to get him properly match fit

[Kovacic ran the game from midfield with a dominating performance and Lampard said he was part of the conversation to turn the Croatian’s Real Madrid loan move into a £40.3 million [€48m/$52m] move last summer] [Kovacic] was the one that we could bring in because of the situation. I watched him last year and I liked him from afar. It maybe wasn’t the easiest year for him and some times his started, some times he didn’t.

But I just saw a natural talent in the way that he can take people out of midfield and travel really quickly with the ball and play really nice combinations. I think it’s not the norm, always, you have a high level of that.

But there are other parts of his game that we want him to improve. We want him to score more goals and defensively when he is in deep defensive areas, of course, he has to be very aware to pick up runners and do that job as well. I liked him. I was part of that process and I want to work with him more.

2020 01 26b Retrieve

[Lampard knows Tomori better than anyone and he has seen a change in the defender’s personality] Yeah, he has come a long way since the first day he turned up at Derby. There were things he needed to improve, even personality-wise, he was quite quiet and you see a change in his personality and you see the player he has turned into. He has played for his country; he has got into the international squad, playing regularly for us and doing very well so I am delighted with his progress

2020 01 26c Retrieve

[Lampard denies Pedro could be sold despite interest from Major League Soccer] He is part of my plans. I started the season and he was in my team, and then, unfortunately, he got injured at Norwich before the game and I had to make a change. Then he was out for a while, and I do have competition in that area.

He has had bits here and there, I know he wants more games, I get that. But he certainly has something that he can contribute here with his experience and his ability to break lines and run behind people and maybe get those goals in and around the box.

He’s here, I know his contract is up at the end of the season but I am not even looking that far ahead. He’s here, he’s part of the squad and I need everybody because football can change very quickly. There can be a period of games where you’re on the bench, out of the squad, something changes and that’s the moment that you have to come in and produce. I have got no winners in this game, I want the club to be the winner. [If] people come in and do well, they stay in the team

2020 01 27 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard has talked about his desire to keep Pedro but MLS clubs will give him a chance to leave west London] He is part of my plans, I started the season and he was in my team, and then, unfortunately, he got injured at Norwich before the game, and I had to make a change. Then he was out for a while, and I do have competition in that area

He has had bits here and there, I know he wants more games, I get that. But he certainly has something that he can contribute here with his experience and his ability to break lines and run behind people and maybe get those goals in and around the box.

He is here, I know his contract is up at the end of the season but I am not even looking that far ahead. He is here, he is part of the squad and I need everybody because football can change very quickly. There can be a period of games where you are on the bench, out of the squad, something changes and that is the moment that you have to come in and produce. I have got no winners in this game, I want the club to be the winner. People come in and do well; they stay in the team

2020 01 31 Retrieve

[Loftus-Cheek can be Chelsea’s late-season secret weapon] I think you will miss Ruben; I don’t care who you are, you’ll miss his abilities. His natural physique, his ability to move the ball well and score the goals like he did last season, that has to be a big part of his game as well.

Of course, we’ve missed a player of that level and it was nice to put a smile on everyone’s face on Friday because he is popular with his team-mates too. A smile on everyone’s face to see him back.

It was the first day with us fully on Friday and it was a light session so that suited him. He has a fair way to go still, and I’m not pessimistic there. He just needs a full week training with us first, a tough week.

Then he will need some Under-23 games, and again I think the break comes at a nice time for him to work. We’ll gauge it the other side of that break and see where he is. It might be too early [to face Leicester in the U23s on Friday]

The week’s training is the important thing because he hasn’t had that at first-team level. Then we will consider the games after that

2020 01 31b Retrieve

[Lampard says Chelsea now underdogs for top four after failing to strengthen in transfer window] Every time I look at the television another player signs for a club, that’s the transfer window. But if I’m looking at it with my business head on and looking around us in the table and I look at Manchester United obviously signing a big, big player, a world-class player, in my opinion. The teams around us, Sheffield United making fantastic signings, Chris Wilder’s job is incredible because he’s had years to work that group and now they’re adding where he sees fit.

Tottenham have signed a few and they’re not far behind us. And not only have they signed a few, but a couple of players have left were obviously – not being too crude about it – the situation was they were towards the end of their contracts and maybe weren’t happy being at the club any more.

Sometimes that’s as important as bringing players in. It’s changing the feeling of the group if players are not wanting to be there so that’s obviously smart business on that part. Now what remains to be seen will be seen and from my view – and this is not to talk down ourselves because we’re six points clear in fourth – now we become probably the underdogs and the outsiders to some point because the teams around us have strengthened. It’s a fact

I don’t think there’s any specific point where a deal falls down. It could be early or towards the end but if we haven’t got anything done, that is all that really matters. I’m not surprised because this is football and nothing should surprise me.

I went through a January window last year [at Derby County] - different circumstances and it was difficult to bring in players. Everyone has their own difficulties in different ways. Let’s not forget it’s a difficult window. I get that. And probably for sure the fact we missed the last window made it a bit more crucial for us. Now we have missed two windows. I talk about the trust of the fans there and I still feel it.

When we lost at home to Liverpool I have never seen a reaction to a home defeat like that. Because the fans are saying, ‘We get it, the players are young and there is a transitional feel about that’. We need that trust more than ever. For the next four months because as we have seen in recent games, there have been times when little elements aren’t coming off for us. Finishing being the main one. And with young players, as much as I want to sit here and drive and drive them, we have to accept that sometimes there are players who are young, were playing football in the Championship last year, or youth football last year and coming into the first team is very tough for them.

I know our fans will give us that trust and we certainly need it to keep pushing for that this season. The reality is I have an idea here as well of where I want to get to and I don’t think any knee-jerk reaction from myself or from the club would have been positive either.

If you are not going to improve and it’s late like that, I don’t even want to listen to that. I want to work to a longer-term plan and have trust in that. Now if you look at the history of clubs, and this club, there are lots of players who moved in that last moment and it didn’t work out and maybe they are on loan, or maybe they are sat in the squad three years later and not playing. And that’s not what I want. I want everyone here to absolutely be able to put a shift in and be a positive for the squad. So yes, I wouldn’t want that knee-jerk reaction late signing, if it’s not better than what we have got, for sure

[Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and even 15-goal striker Tammy Abraham have all had periods where they are primary targets of criticism this season. Lampard admits he has had to use them more than he would have liked due to not having the players he wants in all areas of the pitch] Possibly there will be that situation. I’ve asked a lot already. At times I haven’t been able to rest in certain areas of the pitch. If I do rest people question why because some of the young have been the top performers. But I don’t want to make it just about the young. Everybody has to react. Whatever your situation at the club or thinking that’s football.

Everyone is in a different situation individually. Everyone has to push and be on edge. It can’t be nicey nicey now for us until the end of the season. In every training session and in every game we play, we have to be absolutely on top of ourselves if we want that fourth place.

I have to be the first person who remains positive, no matter what, and I have to be truthful when I speak out loud. Chelsea fans are sitting listening and I respect them for that and they want the best. We know that recruitment is huge for a team that wants to be successful.

Look no further than Liverpool and Manchester City in recent years. But it’s a fact. People will get bored if I keep crying about that fact. I have to work. The players have to work. I think at the start of the season a lot of fans, a lot of pundits from the outside, nobody had us in their top four. Nobody.

I think people were saying ‘maybe if you’re in the top eight we understand, top 10 maybe we understand’. Obviously not fighting relegation but we understand. I think now probably because there was a period where we were ahead of the curve expectations were ‘ooh we’re hanging on in fourth that’s not good, that result’s not good’ because expectations change. I get that. Expectations change. But the reality is that now that we’re in fourth but it’s going to be a real big fight. And we have to be up for that challenge. Young, middle, more experienced players. But the first person that’s up for that is me

[Chelsea’s frustrations in the transfer window are further compounded by losing their recent debutant from the academy Tariq Lamptey] It’s Tariq Lamptey’s choice. Because of his contract situation, it’s his choice if he moves on because he’s out of contract in the summer. It’s something we can’t really control, I suppose

2020 01 31c Retrieve

[Asked if Giroud will be bidding farewell to the Blues] No. He has been incredible as a player and a man during this time. Will he leave? No. He trained today. No ins and no outs. It’s my job to get the best out of all my players

The window is 95% shut for us. The answer is probably no for the players you would ask about

[Pressed on whether there was any sense of frustration] I wouldn’t say frustrated. I wanted to bring players in, but I know how football has been

2020 02 01 Retrieve

[Lampard’s frustration was obvious on deadline day, with the manager arguing that Chelsea are now underdogs in the battle for fourth despite having a six-point cushion over United, Tottenham and Wolves] It’s clear that we wanted to bring players in. I certainly wanted to bring players in. I think I’ve made that pretty clear over the last few weeks and it hasn’t happened

2020 02 01b Retrieve

[Lampard: Chelsea still top-four underdogs after draw with Leicester side] We were underdogs at the start of the season. Not many people gave us the top-four slot and I understand why, and it’s probably the same now. We’ve come to Leicester, who everyone’s raving about, quite rightly, and we’ve got a point. We move on

We were the better team in the first half, in terms of how we moved the ball, and we created some gilt-edged chances. In the second half we weren’t so fluid and they created some good chances themselves. Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen were really good. Toni was aggressive, the second goal is a really great header, so I’m really pleased with him.

His performance was pretty good, he makes a good save, he’s comfortable with his feet and there was not much you could do with either goal

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard admits Chelsea have missed Christian Pulisic in recent weeks] It is hard to answer [on when he will be back]. We tried to get him out this week and step it up a little bit but we had to pull out of that. So the break might have come at a good time because it buys us a couple of weeks. I won’t have an answer till we’re back training. Yes, [we miss him] because he’s a quality player and was having a really good patch pre-Christmas. But others have to stand up too. But, of course, we’ll be happy to have him back

Yes, he was good. That’s not new, that’s been his recent form. He had a small injury and missed the game against Arsenal and Hull. But he’s a weapon for us. He can attack with his crossing but we need to get on the end of them more. And he’s also very solid defensively. When you think of his age, you can get excited about Reece. There is a lot more he can obviously do but I’m really pleased with how he’s developing at the minute

There are all the sides of his game he can work on, although I’m not going to improve his crossing, I don’t think, because he’s a natural. But we can talk about his position, his link-up with the winger in front of him and the midfield players, and his defensive attributes because they are first and foremost. And making sure he is always in the right areas. And he is very open to that, as he should be. Like all the young players at Chelsea are, they are sponges, they want to learn. They want to listen. So you enjoy coaching them because they want to get better

I will take a few days off. I’m not travelling anywhere far afield but it will be nice to spend some family time. This job is consuming and I’ve probably given my wife too much chat about football when we’ve been having dinner and stuff. Sometimes I get told that so I’ll try to refrain for a few days and then get back to work. I know it has been talked about a lot, particularly because of the Klopp situation, but there are lot of people in a football club who work intensely and the players do a lot of travelling and so on, so I think we’re all for it. We championed it when we didn’t have it because it didn’t help our European team and maybe our national team, and then we moan about it when we have got it and try to find a reason why we shouldn’t have it. I think it is a good thing

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Lampard gives no guarantees Kepa Arrizabalaga will return vs Man Utd] I’ve decided. You’ll find out [on Monday]. The reaction has been good, as I’d expect. [He has been] training hard, head down. I haven’t had lots of conversations with him this week and it’ll be a decision for me to make. It doesn’t matter when you came to the club, I don’t take into account the fee. It’s the training that counts

I wouldn’t say that. I wasn’t looking for that necessarily. I think I spoke around the Leicester game and said that I have to pick the team as I see it on form in every position, so it was just a selection on that day. Now I know with goalkeepers there’s a bit more to it than that. We know it’s a slightly different role than everybody else. But I want everybody’s reaction all the time to be spot on and he came out the team, I know what that means, I know how that will feel for him.

Every player has it, maybe [Lionel] Messi is the only one who doesn’t, or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but the rest of us do. And I had it in my career many a time, it’s part and parcel of being a footballer and you have to show character in those little moments. I’ve been pleased with the reaction

Tammy Abraham is still feeling the effects [of a recent injury], to be honest. We’ve had to take him out of training a couple of days this week. He trained today [Friday], so we’re hopeful, but he will be assessed over the weekend

2020 02 14b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard believes Kepa Arrizabalaga could come back stronger after the goalkeeper was dropped from the Chelsea starting XI] That is the reality of life, of football, of our careers. Everyone has these things and you can’t pull the wool over their eyes or be too sweet about it, because it is what it is. The only thing I ever found that got me back into the team or through a moment was hard work on the training ground. If you are going to sulk and if I ever did sulk, I would quickly try to readdress that myself and realise that I can only affect one thing, and that’s how I train to be ready to play

I was fortunate as a player here because I played a lot of games. Probably in my early 30s it slightly changed, and at the time I didn’t like it, I remember the feeling. But then you have to be a team-mate, and you have to be part of the club and you have to accept it, and sometimes you have to find another way, and understand that things are slightly different.

That was just my story, everybody is slightly different, but with the competition in squads now I do think you always have to be aware that if your standards drop or if the manager chooses for whatever reason, and that can happen, and handle it in the right way. I don’t expect smiley faces when people get dropped, I just expect reactions, I expect support of the team-mates there. It is not easy, I’m saying this as a manager, I know as a player I was not brilliant at this myself, but from where I am sitting now I try and push that, and I think sometimes it can be something that makes you stronger. Most people get it at some point in their career. So it is what it is

2020 02 14c Retrieve

[Lampard: Hakim Ziyech arrival doesn’t mean Pedro and Willian are leaving Chelsea] No it doesn’t. Conversations are ongoing with those players. They have both been successful players with the club

We tried and it was not possible. We all know how the January window works. You respect that clubs with top players want to keep them and that was the case. But that is done and we have him for next season. Pleased with that. I think he’s a fantastic player. He first came into my eye-line in their run in the Champions League last year. I thought he was one of their standout players, particularly in their games against Tottenham. We’ve come up against them twice this season so I know a lot about him. I know about his qualities. He’s got a great left foot and plays generally off the right-hand side but can play behind the front man. Probably when you look at us this season there have been games where we may have maybe struggled to unlock the door. He’s certainly a player we hope can bring that bit of creativity and something different for us. He scores goals, assists. I know he’s not coming now but I think it’s exciting for us as a club and the fans to know that he’ll be here next year

We have to worry first about where we are at and trying to come in the top four is the massive priority for us. My main concern is that. We are always on the lookout and working together to try and see how we can improve. I think those improvements are needed in the summer but we have to make sure we get the right ones

2020 02 15 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard admits Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori would likely to have been sent out on loan by Chelsea had the Blues not been stung by a transfer ban] Would Mason have gone on loan again this year? Possibly. Probably. Tomori definitely would. It was my decision to keep Tomori because I’d worked with him at Derby and loved his attitude. I don’t have to play Tammy - he has to show me why, of our three strikers, he deserves it

The ban forced my hand slightly but I knew the fans wanted to see young players. I knew how much the academy put into these players. I’m not even talking about Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne - you mention them and you get an absolute headline. But there have been other academy players over the last 10 years who might have come through quicker. The sweat, the tears, the hours that go into those prospects. Neil Bath and Jim Fraser, who have run the academy for years, put so much into it. The day we beat Wolves 5-2, Tomori got the first, Tammy scores three, then Mason scores. You want to ring them up and go, ‘Can we have a few pints tonight, lads?

[on Hudson-Odoi] The one thing these players have over us from our era is that from the age of 10, they’ve been watching videos of themselves. They do studies: what are my weak points, my strong points? We had a whole video about wingers making the box going into Burnley last month. Then when Callum scores that tap-in, it’s probably my favourite goal of the season. Look at Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane, Salah and ask why they are racking up numbers. If you want to play as a winger at a top club, you have to get goals

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[Lampard demands more from Chelsea youngsters in battle for top-four finish] It’s a critical time for us and I need the young players to do their thing. I think when you come through this academy, you should understand what playing for the first team at Chelsea looks like. You must always drive yourself and drive yourself and, if there’s times when you’re not necessarily at your best, you need to drive yourself again. The young players have made a great impact this season and we’ve had reliance on them to a degree, because we knew we couldn’t bring anyone in at the start

Through the season I think there are going to be some difficult times and, if you look at Tammy Abraham at the moment, and maybe Mason [Mount], I think the break was particularly good for them as they can come back and hopefully show more levels in their game. There’s been tough little times recently and I think it’s up to them now. They’ve shown they’re part of this first-team squad and they’ve all had their good inputs but I want more and I think I want more now

I always like to reflect on myself and how I work. When you’re a new manager at a club, and I only came in last summer, you always think: ‘What small tweaks can I make to how we prepare and how we train daily?’. There was a lot of self-reflection [during the break]. And just having some time away, having a bit of clarity, I think we should be happy that we’re in fourth position. I think that would have been a plus at the start of the season. At the same time how can we get that extra 10 or 15% which I think we’ve been lacking? We would have had a lot more points on the board [if we did] and made fourth look a lot more comfortable

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to banish the memory of a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford on the opening weekend] It was only a surprise probably having watched the performance, it wasn’t a 4-0 game. I would be the first to criticise ourselves and I was honest with the players afterwards. I said: ‘Look, that’s not a 4-0, let’s not walk away from the small details that made it 4-0, but don’t take this as a big kick in the teeth, because it shouldn’t be on performance’. Then a few days later they went toe-to-toe with the best team in the country this season by a mile, Liverpool, and possibly should have won the Super Cup. I didn’t find the defeat to Manchester United was a real seminal moment. It didn’t feel nice on the day, it would be great to correct it tonight, but at the same time, I didn’t take it as a huge hurtful thing. I could see in those two performances against Manchester United and Liverpool what the team could achieve this season

[Goalkeeper Kepa recently dropped for Willy Caballero after a string of mediocre performances] With the competition in squads now I do think you have to always be aware that if your standards drop or if the manager chooses to leave you out for whatever reason, then that can happen and you have to handle it in the right way. It happens to most people during their career. I don’t expect smiling faces when people get dropped, I just expect reactions, I expect support for their team-mates.

It’s not easy. I’m saying this as a manager, but I know as a player I wasn’t brilliant at that myself, but from where I’m sitting now I try to push that and I think that sometimes it can be something that just makes you stronger. The group should always support their team-mates anyway. We’re playing at a high level and there’s competition in the squad, you have to respect the player that might be coming into the team at all times.

I’m there to support the players, they know that I’m on their side, even though I can sometimes make decisions that they don’t like. You need a strong supportive group that stays together no matter what, throughout the season, through the 50 or 60 games we play when lots of things are going to happen.

It is the brutal reality of life, of football, of our careers, that everyone has these things. You can’t pull the wool over their eyes and be too sweet about it, because the only thing I ever found that got me back in the team or through a difficult moment was hard work on the training ground

2020 02 17b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard blasted VAR on Monday after Harry Maguire was not sent off following a controversial kick-out at Michy Batshuayi] Harry Maguire should have been sent off, that’s clear, and that obviously changes the game. [Cesar] Azpilicueta gets shoved [into Brandon Williams] so [Antonio Rudiger’s] goal should stand. Giroud was a toenail offside and that one I understand. That’s the rule now. I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the monitor. It should be used

It was a tough night for Batshuayi. Strikers are judged on goals, it’s a fact. We need goals from forward areas and we haven’t had that this season. We can’t rely on Tammy Abraham all season. You get judged as an attacker on goals

It’s tough to take on lots of levels, some footballing, some others. It’s football and it’s life. I’m not complaining about any work ethic from the lads, their heads are down in there. It’s a tough night for us. It’s not a 2-0 game. We have a feeling of Groundhog Day in the stadium. I don’t know how many shots we had but it was a lot. If we don’t score, you can’t win football games. They get clearer every week. We are fourth and the season starts here. People didn’t expect us to be fourth but we are. We are fourth because of some of the good stuff we have done and because of the nature of the league with everyone taking points off each other. I’m not soft, I can criticise the team. We can bemoan our luck sometimes, yes, but if we are not finishing chances we can’t win games. I feel like a broken record

2020 02 21 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has played down Jose Mourinho’s injury complaints about Harry Kane and Son Heung-min] I think we all feel the same as managers. When you have big players injured, you know how much you miss them. But they also have a big squad. As I said, we had five huge ones in pre-season and four or five at the moment.

You will feel that and I understand his feelings because you want all your top players fit. But it doesn’t make me think they’re any weaker, whatever Jose says. I know we’ve got a tough team coming tomorrow. An incredible player like Harry Kane is a miss and now Son is a miss, but with Harry Kane, it always amazed me the stats when [Mauricio] Pochettino was the manager and Harry Kane was injured a few times.

They remained a force because they had players that could fill in. When you are talking about players like Dele Alli, whose game is to arrive from slightly behind and break lines consistently, Lucas Moura is similar and he has qualities, [Steven] Bergwijn has come in and has those similar qualities. I have watched a lot of them recently and they are a threat. This is a London derby against Tottenham, I think whatever team they put out will always be a threat in this type of game

[Lampard has defended Mason Mount’s finishing and insists that runs of poor form are normal for players of his age] I know Mason from working with him that he’s tough on himself. I know since the Tottenham game [where he performed well] that he will want to have more output in terms of assists and goals because that’s what he’s very capable of.

He’s fine, he’s very aware of that. I have very honest conversations with Mason and he wants the best for himself and I see it out there every day. Even if those goals and assists aren’t quite coming, he will fight his way through it, no problem.

Individually you suffer periods of form and as a young player, you have to understand even more and be more sensitive to the fact that can affect confidence because they’ve been thrust into the team this year and it’s new and the eyes of the world are on them, and that’s a big deal.

It’s a test for the younger players and I think with the physical nature of the league over the year it was always going to come, we would have little dips, and how they come out of it would be the making of them. It’s always the same. It’s how they train, it’s how they work, it’s the focus that they have which will bring them through. I believe in all fo them, whether they’re in dips or not. I believe they’ll all be top players for this club but they have to keep pushing and they have to be strong in moments like this

[Loftus-Cheek will soon return to boost the squad] He had a small issue and we felt it wasn’t right to risk him [for the recent Under-23s game against Arsenal]. It was tiny, but it was one of those we wanted to control a bit more so we came away from that. He still needs match fitness. Putting him in the squad is a question of, ‘Can he make an impact if he has to come on?’ I can already see his impact and what he brings. I knew it already, but to see the level in training first-hand has been nice. Can he sustain that over 90 minutes at the moment? No. We’ll have to work towards that

2020 02 21b Retrieve

[Lampard offers his latest fitness update] N’Golo is not fit, muscle injury. Similar to Arsenal. Hopefully three weeks. Pulisic not fit, no exact date. A difficult injury. Ruben is in the squad. Not fit to start, but in the squad. Andreas went to get a mask and has trained with it. Available for selection. Tammy has trained the last two days. Probably 70%. He is in the squad

This season is a transitional year, and fans appreciate that. Not many teams have had our injuries. Kante has played 50% of the games. The fans respect that and they see what we try to do. They will be there to support us. It is tight at the moment and we need the fans behind us. The players will give everything

[Quizzed on whether he feels under pressure] I always feel it, because this is top sport. I thrive on it. I have enjoyed this week. It was disappointing to lose on Monday [against United], but this is the challenge for us. Everyone probably wrote us off for top four. It is a process and the pressure is always there

2020 02 21c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says of Christensen] I think he has got a broken nose now. Callum for the weekend? No. Pulisic, no. Tammy is a maybe. It is not going our way at the minute on injuries. It is frustrating

2020 02 22 Retrieve

[Chelsea remain in fourth place in the Premier League, now four points ahead of Tottenham, and while Lampard was pleased to have beaten his old boss to three points, he was unforgiving in his assessment of the VAR fiasco] It is not good enough, that is two VAR [decisions against us] in two games. It’s hard to shout about it when you’ve lost but today everybody saw that. It is a red. I hate to call for red cards but that is a leg breaker. I am not saying [anything] about referees on the spot, [but] VAR is here to clear things up and it is not good enough

2020 02 22b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard fumes at VAR after Giovani Lo Celso ‘leg-breaker’] It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough, I’m sorry. It’s two VARs now in two games [after two goals were disallowed in the defeat to Manchester United]. It’s harder to speak about it when you’ve lost because people are claiming you’re just shouting, but maybe you need to shout, because that’s not good enough. Everybody in the football world saw that that was a red. And it’s too late, too late to do that. The game should be over [at 2-0]. I hate to call for red cards, but when they’re endangering… That’s a leg-breaker of a tackle. You get VAR brought into the game to see it and give the right decision. I’m not saying anything about the referees on the spot - it’s not easy on the spot - VAR’s here to clear those up. I’m not surprised they’ve put it right, but it’s not good enough

2020 02 22c Retrieve

[Lampard insists that youth isn’t a problem for Chelsea] I don’t think it’s inexperience. You can look at the youth in the squad and perhaps that’s an easy conclusion. Perhaps that’s part of it but it’s not easy to pinpoint. The clinical nature of not scoring, the sloppy nature of having a lapse which gives a team with one or two shots a goal, which has happened a couple of times at home. Is it experience, quality? There’s a lot of things to it.

This period is what all Premier League clubs suffer. As young players you have to be even more aware that it can affect their confidence, because they’re new to the team and the eyes of the world are on them. It’s a big deal and a test for the younger players and I think with the physical nature of the league over the course of the season then there were always going to be little dips.

The players will certainly come out of it better. It’s how they train, how they play. I believe in all of them and think they’re all going to be top players for this club, but they have to keep pushing and get out of moments like this

We obviously want to keep our best players. Kante is an incredible player, everyone knows that. At the end of the day, no matter what the quality of the player, you want players who want to be here at Chelsea and push to close the gap upwards. It’s a question for the end of the season. The player you mention [Kante] – we want to be adding to players like that

2020 02 23 Retrieve

[Lampard happy to still have Olivier Giroud at Chelsea after January transfer to Inter fell through] He has always been engaged even when he has not been playing, he has been engaged. I said it during the window; he has been absolutely fantastic from start to now. That is why he can put in those performances when he comes in. Personality on the pitch, personality in the dressing room, quality to finish, selfless in his ways. He’s our player now. In January it might have changed, it didn’t, and I’m happy with that and we move on.

He is strong; he has been around, won the World Cup, very good with the younger players around him, wants to train at a high level every day, understands his game, his attributes and how important he can be. The way the team worked helped Oli, and he helped the team. To have competition in that area is what we have been lacking. We have lacked goals from forward areas, not just in strikers, across the front

[Lampard thinks that Chelsea need to adjust their tactics and mentality when Giroud plays to get the most out of his talents] It’s hard to isolate two different games, you can’t expect things always to work out or for strikers to score every week. Today, in everything we did, we had two very energetic forwards around him, and with Oli you sometimes have to adapt because of what he brings. It’s different to Tammy and Michy. So, we adapt. That’s partly Oli and partly the team around him

2020 02 24 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says he is unconcerned by the threat of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski ahead of their Champions League meeting] It doesn’t concern me. He’s been so consistent for years. His goalscoring record, everything about him from a distance is top class. I’ve watched quite a lot of Bayern and that shines through. He’s the spearhead but they have a lot of threats. The levels have to go up in the knockout stages. The levels must go up everywhere

[when asked if the German side could go on to win the competition] Yes, for sure. The talent and unity - they are top of the Bundesliga for a reason. It’s a club that overcomes difficulties because of the strength, the structure. I have huge respect for them. Every year they can win the Champions League but our job is to try and stop them

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard admits Bayern Munich taught Chelsea a harsh lesson] That’s football at this level. The levels of Bayern Munich were fantastic, they’re a really strong team, I was aware of that. Unless we were to get everything right and bang on, it was going to be tough. We didn’t get everything bang on. We weren’t confident on the ball, which was my biggest disappointment. A harsh lesson, a reality of the levels we want to get to – this is Champions League football. As a club haven’t been fighting in the knockouts for some years and this is the reality of what it takes

They need to use this positively. They won’t feel it this evening but what they need to do is understand the levels of the Champions League when you get to the knockout stage. A lot of players there today either haven’t played in it, played Europa League which is a big difference or played it a few years ago, certainly not at Chelsea when we got to successive semi-finals and finals and winning it. The only answer, young or old, is to not look at any part of the team other than yourself. Ask ‘who was I up against, who was my direct competitor, how did I do against them?’ We need to say tonight wasn’t a night where we showed that and we need to take responsibility

[Chelsea are fourth but only three points clear of Manchester United and four ahead of Tottenham and Sheffield United after 27 matches] There’s nothing else other than the fact of being real of where we are. We’re now fighting to finish in the top four, because we want to improve in the [off season]. We also have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride to see what we can do there and today was just a clear show that there’s a lot of work to be done. I felt that when I took the job, felt it all the way through and we’ll keep working, we all need to

2020 02 25b Retrieve

[Outclassed: Lampard’s Chelsea taught a harsh lesson by brilliant Bayern] The performance was poor and sometimes you have to be brutally honest. They outclassed us in every department and it’s quite sobering

2020 02 28 Retrieve

[Lampard frustrated with Willian’s contract comments] It’s an ongoing conversation. Maybe not ideal timing but I don’t want to get too drawn into it because I am the manager of the team and don’t want to look too far [ahead]. Some of the headlines this week had a sense of frustration for me because we’re working day-to-day to finish this season and we’re not jumping ahead to the summer. Willy’s one is an ongoing situation. It’s not over. We’ll see

[Lampard says that he has a difficult task picking a centre-back from his options] I have four centre-backs to choose from, so generally every week two of them are unhappy. And then people question you when you stick with a back two or back three. There is competition in that area. With Fiks, he always has to train at the top level, that goes for all of the young players because when you are out of the team, however much it hurts, you need to show a good attitude and train very well. At the moment he is and he has a long career ahead of him at this club, without a doubt. It’s been more about selection issues

[He believes that his young players have made a big impact on the squad] Sometimes it’s been the young lads earlier this season who have stepped up and that was great. And sometimes they have had it difficult. So I don’t get too caught up in that conversation. Maturity will come for them, that’s why we have to give them some leeway this year. For Mason and Reece on Tuesday night it was a huge game for them in terms of their learning curve

I didn’t play my first Champions League game until I think my mid-twenties and for me it was an uplift for me at that level, let alone at their age. Reece was playing at Wigan in the Championship and Mason was at Derby with myself. And now they are going up against Thiago and the flying machine Davies from Bayern, who is an incredible looking player - and Gnabry as well. It was a huge test. Make no bones about it. It was a difficult night for them.

It’s not just those players. Kovacic has been to the final with Real Madrid, Azpi has been to the semi-final here. But if you go through the rest of the starting eleven, there are players who are either new to Champions League football - with Ross I think it was his first knock-out stage - or they are players who have got to the last 16.

We have to be real, we have to be honest. We can’t pull the wool over our own eyes and think all of a sudden we have a divine right at this level to go up against Bayern Munich and beat them. There’s a reason why we are where we are at the moment. We have not challenged in the Premier League for a couple of years. We have to fight and work as hard as we can on the training pitch and in games to close that gap. Come the summer, we want to move forward and make some decisions. But the gap is there. Tuesday showed that. But that should not dishearten us - now it’s how we finish the season.

I think the landscape of the Premier League has changed. Man City and Liverpool have set incredible standards in the league, and also we had some outside influences with the ban and with circumstance, a huge player left the club. Those things are there. We are certainly on the same page here when I speak with the board and we have all our conversations, there is no doubt we know we are fighting for fourth place.

It is a very dated phrase, when people say: ‘You’re Chelsea, there’s no way you should be happy with fourth’. No, the Premier League has changed. It is not like it was for Manchester United players 15 or 20 years ago, or Chelsea players when we were first or second for a period in the mid-2000s. It’s not like that any more and that is the reality. We do want to climb and bridge the gap and I strongly believe we will. But I am very aware of what that is. The players need to be aware of it and we are as a club

2020 02 28b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard admits Chelsea lost the Premier League’s best player in Hazard] We couldn’t control the ban. We lost the best player in the Premier League in Eden Hazard. We are trying to improve on the training pitch. We have shown we can get into fourth and now we have to kick on

[Lampard said of the Kepa speculation] My relationship is fine. I can’t keep every player happy. But the professionalism is there from him. Every player is in control of their own decision. Caballero is training well and performing well. I will decide as we go. I have read a lot of false articles of guessing players. All I am focusing on is game by game. Then there are decisions for the club

2020 02 28c Retrieve

[Lampard offers several Chelsea Players’s fitness update] Christian Pulisic is injured. N’Golo Kante injured, Tammy Abraham injured. We are trying to find a solution with Tammy. It’s the same. At the moment he is not doing anything active for a couple of days. But we don’t know the length

It has been longer. It was to be a lot less. But I had a similar injury when I was a player, so I can sympathise. I know it can be a delicate injury. The way Pulisic was playing, the hot patch, the ability to go past players

[Lampard said of Ruben Loftus-Cheek] Ruben is in the squad again. It would mean a lot for him. It is a lonely place to be injured. With the ability that he has got he is one of the most exciting English midfield players

[Lampard added on a thrilling battle for Champions League qualification] When you look around and the form of [Manchester] United, a strong unit and spent well last summer, similar with Tottenham and you can’t write off Arsenal. Wolves FC and Sheffield United, you have to respect them, they are good teams. We have a fight on. Anyone who is in range has a chance

2020 02 29 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard admits his Chelsea side are not clinical enough at present] We expected a fight and they gave us a difficult game but we should win the game, we had a lot of possession and chances. The character of the team was great, it wasn’t for the want of trying but we need more goals. Marcos Alonso has had a big week but I don’t want my left-back top of the scoring charts. I want our attackers scoring goals and they haven’t. We wanted to win, we should have won but it’s a difficult league. It’s that cut throat part of the season. If we keep having games like this and we are not clinical it’s tough. The way the season has panned out, we should be pleased that we are fourth but it means nothing at this stage. If we manage to get in the top four the achievement is huge but we are a long way from that yet

We should win, we had many chances. We had a bad 10-minute spell where they scored and that I don’t like. I’m pleased with the character to get a draw but we should win the game. Against Bayern we conceded twice in a short space of time, it’s not the first time. Could it be a lack of concentration? Possibly from the players. People talk about the defence but if you are 1-0 up and leave teams in the game then one set piece can change the game. We should score more goals and then we don’t have that problem

2020 03 01 Retrieve

[Lampard: No timeframe on Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi or Tammy Abraham’s recovery for Chelsea] I am hoping [Callum] will be fit for next Sunday. Christian is the same as Tammy. There is no clear answer. [Tammy] went to Barcelona, to have a look at his ankle for some more advice on it.

We will have to work around [Jorginho’s suspensions in the league and Champions League], we have players who can play there. Kovacic finished in the holding role, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour, there are solutions and there might be opportunities for other players.

[Loftus-Cheek] may get in the Under-23s game on Monday, he missed the opportunity here, he had a small calf injury a week or two ago which stopped him playing in the Under-23s game that I wanted him to and I would like to see him complete a whole game.

It wouldn’t be fair on him to bring him on for 15 minutes and it probably wouldn’t be the right thing for the team at the moment. Once he shows he can go through a game, he will probably be back in

We miss them of course because of what they bring and they can go by people. They can travel well with or without the ball. They are two big players who we have missed, particularly Christian for quite a while now

It’s Liverpool. Our fans want us to overturn the best team in the land, it doesn’t mean I don’t change a couple of people, fresh legs or a couple of different options but I won’t pick a team casually and be giving minutes. I will be treating it with the care I would give a Premier League game

2020 03 01b Retrieve

[Lampard on Tomori’s error in diving in to challenge] It’s hard to create actual situations like someone out-jumping your man or someone diving in and getting done when they shouldn’t do as a centre-back

2020 03 02 Retrieve

[Lampard: Chelsea could model themselves on Liverpool to return to the top] We’ve seen the Liverpool journey and it’s an incredible story. I remember them linking and raising their arms when they drew 0-0 with West Brom. Probably slightly ridiculed for it at the time but it is now symbolic of the journey of this team that is now an absolute machine, rolling everyone over until the last game. So, it’s a reference point in terms of when you see what a work in progress looks like. It can take time and behind a team that wins so many on the bounce is a lot of sweat and hard work from everyone involved, which is what I am trying to do here. There will be tough times, many tough times, when I’ll be questioned, [the players will] be questioned. We have to stay tough within that

As part of their journey, they have signed some fantastic players at the right times, ones that feel pivotal. Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, the keeper – they have a great knack of signing the right player at the right time that suits the way they want to play and keep moving forward. It’s a great model in those terms but I don’t want to look anywhere near like I’m comparing us now. I’m under no illusions but what I do understand is that behind their story is a lot of hard work they have been prepared to do

That will always be something that will not be in my control. And you have to look at the landscape changing. That is the debate, about where we are as a club now and what squad we have now to what we have had in previous years. We just have to work with what is in front of us and that is to try to win games. There’ll be many managers in the Premier League this year that will be looking at their wins or points totals and it’s nowhere near where they were at different times because this league has proved very competitive – barring Liverpool of course and a bit of Manchester City. But the rest of us are fighting for consistency and fighting to improve. I think Chelsea fans do understand that

I haven’t discussed it with him and I can only pick the team as I see it from a Chelsea point of view. It’s not one I jump ahead to broach. I keep coming back to the same thing: it’s how well you train, and he is training well, and when you get the opportunity to play, how well you play. He must have a positive attitude and I think I’m a pretty fair man – I don’t know if all the players will say that! Maybe 11 will tomorrow and then another 11 next week! That’s the nature of my job. I only call it as I see it, as I see training and performances. So I hope all the players remain positive and, of course, he can play for his country. He’s shown that already. He’s been number one at times ahead of David de Gea, who is a fantastic, world-class goalkeeper, so that hopefully isn’t a big issue at the moment. He’s training every day to be ready for us when needed

2020 03 02b Retrieve

[Lampard confirms Kepa Arrizabalaga could return to Chelsea line up for FA Cup clash with Liverpool] Yes, Kepa [is in contention]. He has been professional as expected, trained well and kept his head down, supporting the team and the group. He has been good, but I say the same every week as I get asked this every week

Yeah, every player is in control of their destiny in how they train and how they play. This is Chelsea and we’re trying to close the gap to the top, so there can be no one who is relaxed or loose, we have to push every day. And try to win the game in front of us, train well on the day in front of you. Of course, we have to look at the group in the summer. But there are no decisions beyond the game tomorrow night as far as I’m concerned

We will field a team that gives everything to get into the next round against a very strong Liverpool team. The team I put out should give everything to compete with Liverpool, as we have done twice this season. We’ve competed very well against them and were probably unfortunate to lose on both occasions. So we have to approach it with the same spirit. We want to win it [the FA Cup] but winning something is usually a phrase that has gone out of the Premier League unless you are Manchester City or Liverpool, pretty much, in the last couple of years. They have made so many strides and gone out on their own slightly so we have to understand that the landscape has changed and try to bridge the gap

We would expect Liverpool to put out a strong team, I presume they will play their strongest team, there or thereabouts. We know whatever team they put out they will give us a very strong match. We have to play with a big spirit and we will have to be at our best. Their defeat against Watford won’t make it any easier for us. With the type of manager and players that they have, it can be a wake-up call in a good way as well. It depends on how you take it. When you look at them they look like a team of fantastic professionals with a manager who is very driven. So things like that can make this game even harder for us. They became relatively human for one game, that can happen in this Premier League which is incredibly competitive. It shows how well they have done in the last year or so, especially this season

2020 03 02c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has questioned the mentality of his Chelsea players] It’s a mindset. Every game’s different, but you have to have a mindset within the group, on the pitch, because those things are not unexpected. We spoke at half-time, for instance, about what may happen, what they may do, and then you rely on the players on the pitch. So together they have to solve issues. It’s been a problem. It’s always collective. As a group, we can’t be happy with it. This group has young players and experienced players and you can’t be happy when you have moments when you concede like that. I don’t think it matters how young you are, it isn’t naivety, I think there is a concentration issue. We have to concentrate even more.

Games change with goals – the atmosphere in the stadium, the feelings of the other team. Sometimes you need to dig in and concentrate that little bit more as a group. We’ve been tested with that a lot and we talk about it a lot, but the players have to find a solution on the pitch.

At the other end of the scale, I think if we are clinical with our chances those moments aren’t there so much. Leaving games at 1-0 or 0-0 always gives the other team a chance

2020 03 03 Retrieve

[Lampard expresses his worry about coronavirus] As a manager, yes. As a father, yes. As a husband, yes. I think we are all in the same boat as far as that is concerned. We are taking all the right courses of action here within the club and I am as concerned as the rest of us, I guess

2020 03 03b Retrieve

[Lampard keeping Chelsea grounded after Liverpool upset] [I’m] really proud because they [Liverpool] are the best team in the land. Them and Man City have proven that in the last two years, but this year, what they’re doing in the league is incredible. So for us to put in the effort, the focus, the determination, the quality we put into the game was something special tonight. It’s a one-off and we know, are very aware, there’s a lot of work and a long way to go to get to where we want to go but you have to celebrate those moments. Particularly when you get a second [goal] because you know how dangerous Liverpool are until the last minutes, so to go 2-0 up was great

2020 03 03c Retrieve

[Lampard confirms Achilles injuries for Willian and Mateo Kovacic after Liverpool win] Both have got an Achilles issue. Willian hopefully is not too bad, that is what he is reporting there so we will see how he is tomorrow. Kovacic’s feels slightly worse. Hopefully not too drastic, so we’ll see

2020 03 04 Retrieve

[Lampard hails Pedro after FA Cup victory against Liverpool] I agree he was outstanding in work ethic and players look up to him for what he has done. Always a goal threat. Parts of the season have been difficult. He was in the team at the start, got injured and then got out of the team, but what he has shown, particularly in recent weeks, is a real desire in training, to look sharp, to be giving advice and giving the place a lift with his body language. He can be one of our most important players until the end of the season. He is an infectious player

2020 03 04b Retrieve

[Gilmour deserves people talking about him after Chelsea showing] What an incredible performance for a young player. He was a calm head in that first five or 10 minutes. He’s a throwback of a midfielder. Can you put your foot in? Yes. Can you make angles to play the passes? Yes. He’s only slight in stature but he’s huge in personality. He deserves people to talk about him after a performance like that

[The Blues boss has made the most of the club’s academy over the past few months and suggested Gilmour is now very much in his plans moving forward] I’ve got absolute trust in Billy. When you watch him play, I remember when we drew against Sheffield United and people asked me after the game ‘This kid looks like a 15 year old’. But I’ve no problem with him because if he is small in stature he is huge in personality and talent

For me when I look at a midfield player I ask: does he want to receive the ball in all positions - yes he does. Does he pick the right pass - yes he generally does. Will he put his foot in - yes he does. All his family were here tonight from Scotland. What a performance

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard lauded Carlo Ancelotti as a fantastic manager] He is a gentleman, a fantastic manager. It was a good season under him. He is a great man-manager. On a personal level, he’s great at striking up relationships. He’s good tactically and has a great manner. I kept in touch with him now and again

It’s tough, Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t rushed back, we had all the signs that he was fit to train. Then he re-injured it on his first training session with us. So it’s frustrating for him definitely, a young boy who’s keen to play, as you’d expect, and it’s frustrating because it’s another injury to us. It hasn’t been spoken about that much, but we’ve had probably the worst injury list of certainly the top group of the table I think, lots of numbers injured, important players injured, Kante, Loftus-Cheek etcetera. We started the season that way and it’s happened again in the middle of the season, and we’re working against that to try to get the best results

2020 03 06b Retrieve

[Lampard believes footballers deserve credit for resisting fan hatred in light of Eric Dier incident] I thought it was a pretty natural reaction from Eric Dier, I think you if you asked the man or woman in the street, if one of your family members needed protection, your natural reaction would be to go there. Because we are in the sport that we are in, I thought Jose Mourinho said it pretty well afterwards, you are not supposed to, not allowed to as such, but when you talk about natural reactions, I understand it, particularly with a family member.

I didn’t see anything go beyond slightly heated, which is good thing, so we will see how it is dealt with, but I think it should be understood that if Dier saw his brother in a situation, then I understand his thought process. I think its what it was, I took some abuse over the years, I have seen teammates take abuse, I know some of my family members and friends that have been in earshot of abuse, so I don’t think it has changed. I think players should be given a lot of credit sometimes that they hold themselves in certain moments, I think they could be. We talk about certain types of hate in the game, and we analyse them, and then other types of hate seemingly are ok to say something to you or about your family. I have heard all of that and sometimes you don’t pick up on it and its all ok because of the pantomime nature of football. You walk into the stadium, and you don’ live by the same rules you would Iive by in the street.

I think that has not changes, maybe social media has made it worse around, day to day, minute to minute, off the pitch, some people sit and watch a game at home and spend 89 mins of the 90 tweeting, or posting their thoughts on the game rather than watching it. It is unfortunate

[Kepa Arrizabalaga returned to the starting line up after missing the last five matches due to poor form] Yeah, it’s given me thoughts. Arrizabalaga did very well, it’s exactly what I wanted from him and I understand that that’s not easy because everyone looks to the goalkeeper more than an outfield player. All eyes are on and I’ve mentioned in the weeks before that he’s been professional in how he’s handled it when has been out of the team. He came in and did exactly what I want so he’s given me good thinking

2020 03 06c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard delivered mixed news on the fitness front] Hudson-Odoi had a re-injury and is having a scan later today. It’s tough for him. He wasn’t rushed back. He did it training back with us. It’s another injury for us. It hasn’t been spoken about it that much but we have had the worst injury list. We are working against that to try and get the best results

Kovacic not fit and Willian we will assess him, he is a question mark for the weekend

[Tammy Abraham is making positive progress in his recovery from an ankle problem] Tammy Abraham, who is making positive progress in his recovery from an ankle problem.

We had an in-house game which Christian and Loftus-Cheek played. I just watched it and they are trying to find match fitness. I’m not jumping ahead to the summer. We have a big job to do now

2020 03 07 Retrieve

[Lampard: Barkley wants more from his Chelsea career after having the wonderkid tag] I have choices not just in Ross but in that area. All the players have been out at times. Ross probably had a longer time out and had an injury that was a niggly one that was around for the best part of six weeks. Some of that was around the early part of the season where Ross wasn’t getting in. He could look at himself and say he could be doing better, probably. But Ross has taken that on in the most positive way possible. He has worked hard, got his nose in the team and he does need confidence as a player. I believe that. So, to try and play him, give him minutes, is always going to help with confidence. If he plays like he did against Liverpool and Tottenham recently, then he is going to be a big player for this club. I have been pleased with his recent performances and he needs to keep churning them out. I definitely know he has the intention to. I see it on the training pitch and how he holds himself every day in this period, so I am happy with Ross

[Lampard admits that it isn’t easy for players to deal with the hype] I never had that [wonderkid hype]. You see certain players have had that harder pressure at 18 years old and that’s not easy for anybody. The Premier League is competitive and tough. It is very easy to make those early conclusions on players without knowing there’s a long path and everyone’s route is different. What Ross can say is that he has moved on from it and come to Chelsea which is a big club. If he is playing games here at a big club then that’s a success. Gareth Southgate is very confident of picking him for England and he has played a lot of minutes for them. I know he will want more and I get that. He might be wishing he made more minutes by now and made more impact here at Chelsea. Some of that is competition for places and some of that is injuries he has had at different times in his career and the reality is there is no point on looking back on any of that. He can look back when he is 35 or 40 or something. I think Ross has a lot to offer.

I think players are different. Ross is different, Mason is different, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is different. I get that [he wants to be a goalscoring midfielder]. I think what Ross will be searching for is minutes to play regularly to get the consistency to do what he was able to do the other night against Liverpool because it is clearly within his powers. His shooting with his right foot and left foot is as good technically as I have seen on a training pitch. I knew that as a player. Also, his ability to go passed someone in advanced areas in midfield, his skill and ability to do that. So I think that’s well within his range so he couldn’t get too caught up in where he is at, where he is, what might have been other than to train every day which is what he is doing at the minute. When you see that, you see he is a really good player for us, so he can be that goal scoring midfielder. I don’t like to compare it for sure, but he can definitely be a good player for us. Not just a goalscoring midfielder, he can play, run and tackle. He can do a lot of things and he can do all that

2020 03 08 Retrieve

[Lampard: No sympathy for Gerrard at Rangers, he doesn’t need it] We all have the same pressures however it might look from the outside. So, I’m not talking about ‘sympathy’ because we’re both tough. I know Steven and he’s a hard lad. I mean that in a good way. I don’t want sympathy and I’m not going to hand sympathy or lessons or talks to Steven

2020 03 08b Retrieve

[Lampard denies Chelsea have found second wind after thrashing Everton] I’m a bit wary to say that. The last two performances would look like that, but I’m experienced enough to know we go to Aston Villa away, a team who are fighting for their lives and have got good players, so we have to replicate what we showed today every week.

Yes, we had a good early patch this season. Then we’ve had inconsistencies recently. Who hasn’t, other than Liverpool, in this league? I don’t accept those inconsistencies, obviously, but it’s understandable in this transitional period. But we had to work today to show we can finish the season with strength and get better.

[With N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic out injured and Jorginho suspended, Billy Gilmour made his first Premier League start alongside Mount and Ross Barkley in midfield and was named man of the match] He’s receiving the ball in difficult areas on the pitch. If you don’t move it quickly, firstly you don’t get the rhythm in our play and it breaks down from, and secondly if you give it away in those areas, it is dangerous.

I was going to use a rude word there, but you need… confidence to do that. Jorginho has it and Billy has it. One of the most pleasing things with Billy was he showed those balls in the first half, but when he stepped up and played higher up in the pitch second half, he instantly took it on board, arriving in the box and playing balls higher up the pitch. He showed he can do both, which is a great thing for me when I’m thinking about how the midfield looks at times.

[On whether he saw signs of maturity from his team after a tricky spell] I don’t think we’re there yet. It would be easy for me to say it after today but I’d much rather say it in mid-May, when the last game is. To think we’re there and to think that we’ve got over the issues, even at home, would be too over-confident and think we are all right. We are improving in big degrees. We have to keep working. I see a bigger picture, an even longer run than that. I think we have a gap that is big to Liverpool in terms of points. At the minute, it feels like we’re working in the right direction, but we’ve got lots of work to do

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[There was no N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic or Callum Hudson-Odoi, yet the Blues were dynamic in midfield and incisive in attack. Indeed, a totally dominant performance has raised questions about whether the likes of Billy Gilmour, Ross Barkley and Pedro should now be considered first-choice in their respective positions] Look at how City play it with offensive No.10s working off the ball. You’re aware that when you play like that, you have to work harder. They (Mount and Barkley) had to protect Billy when the ball was on the other side. We had that talk, and they gave us that. When we had the ball, we had two really offensive players creating. The players and the midfield got that balance on the pitch right.

[In short, this was a near-perfect day for Lampard, one that has left him with the kind of selection headache he will actually welcome] It is encouraging. We’ll always need our squad and we’ve got a lot of injuries. But the only way to tackle that is to play at high energy and, today, it all came together: the energy, speed of pass, tempo. We need to keep our feet on the ground, but we saw some really good stuff today. The attitude and focus of the team was really strong. I could see that after Liverpool in midweek. We’ve missed focus sometimes. Maybe the challenge of the injuries worked out well today, as the application of the team was spot on

2020 03 10 Retrieve

[Teenage sensation Gilmour keeping Barkley on his toes as youngsters challenge established stars] He’s a brilliant player and he’s shown that in training, from last season to now. He showed that fearlessness out there and you can see the quality he’s got. With more games, he’s going to improve and the quality he’s going to show will get better as well. The future is bright. It’s good, it keeps us on our toes. Top four is our target and as each game comes, we take our game plan into it and try to execute it the way we need to.

2020 03 13 Retrieve

[Chelsea would reject any offer for Pedro] He was outstanding in terms of his work ethic and the other players look up to him for what he has done. Always a goal threat. Parts of the season have been difficult for him. He was in the team at the start, got injured and was then out of the team

But what he has shown, particularly in recent weeks, is a real desire in training to look sharp, to be giving advice and giving the place a lift with his body language. He can be one of our most important players until the end of the season

2020 03 17 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has made great progress in his recovery from coronavirus] I’m happy to say that in Callum’s case, he has made great progress and almost feels his usual self, which is obviously the news we all want to hear

I am of course aware that not everyone can or will recover from this virus, so I urge all of the football and sporting community to continue to act responsibly and look out for the health of others.

I want to make it clear that I am no medical expert when it comes to challenging times such as these but please do take the time to call older relatives and vulnerable people who might be alone, or offer to drop round shopping if they can’t get out. Let’s make sure we all take care of each other.

Social distancing can leave us feeling isolated, however we can continue to support each other even if that means doing it remotely.

Of course we still don’t know when competitive football will restart, but it isn’t worth worrying about that too much at the moment. We all miss football, but right now it’s about acting responsibly and in the best interests of society. I am sure I wasn’t the only one who found myself in a strange place with no sport this weekend, but ultimately none of that matters when we consider the bigger picture

2020 03 19 Retrieve

[How Chelsea are dealing with coronavirus pandemic: From Hudson-Odoi’s recovery to Lampard’s training plan] Of course we still don’t know when competitive football will restart, but it isn’t worth worrying about that too much at the moment. We all miss football, but right now it’s about acting responsibly and in the best interests of society. I am sure I wasn’t the only one who found myself in a strange place with no sport this weekend, but ultimately none of that matters when we consider the bigger picture

2020 03 28 Retrieve

[Lampard wary of putting pressure on Chelsea players amid coronavirus uncertainty] It is very difficult at the moment because we have got nothing concrete in front of us. We have seen that things can change very quickly, so we can only go by the dates we have been given but daily or probably weekly we are looking at it saying, ‘Well, how do we train? What does it look like?’ The last thing I want to do when the players are in this position is to try and push and push and push [them] for no reason

Motivation can be slightly put to the side. I think the motivation at the moment for everyone is how their families are, how their relatives are, how we all see the outside world, and sometimes the realisation probably that there are things which are a lot more important than football. However much we love Chelsea and are fortunate to do our jobs, this has certainly hit home for that. For me, my message to the players has always been look after your family at this time

2020 03 28b Retrieve

[Kepa Arrizabalaga makes Chelsea transfer U-turn after tough season] Every player is in control of their destiny in how they train and how they play. This is Chelsea and we’re trying to close the gap to the top, so there can be no one who is relaxed or loose, we have to push every day.

And try to win the game in front of us, train well on the day in front of you. Of course, we have to look at the group in the summer. But there are no decisions beyond the game tomorrow night as far as I’m concerned.

Is he in the frame tomorrow? Yep. He’s been professional as expected, he’s trained well, kept his head down, supported the team, and the group

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[Lampard: Politicians painted wrong picture of Premier League footballers over coronavirus donations] I was very proud to be manager of this club with the way Chelsea handled it. They were very quick to respond to help with the hotel. There’s a lot more work they’ve been doing with the foundation, with link-ups, getting in touch with fans, with putting on tutorials from some of the academy coaches. There are a lot of people at Chelsea who have stood up with some good work. I think they needed some time and I think the politicians jumped the gun while things were being prepared. People behind the scenes knew that and it’s unfortunate that picture got painted. Since then a lot of players and clubs have stood up in a good way generally. Knowing the players and how they think, that’s been a very good reaction. And it’s ongoing and it shouldn’t stop. I think that reaction needs to continue. If there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, if there are things we can all learn, it’s how we give back and stick together.

My memory is of watching him as a player, but also memories of meeting him and what a gentleman he was. He was working in hospitality at Chelsea when I first arrived, working upstairs. [He was] so friendly with everyone that came to the game. Had time for everybody, absolute gentleman and a huge loss to Chelsea and to football

2020 04 13b Retrieve

[Lampard says Chelsea have multiple transfer plans depending on level of coronavirus disruption] We have the good young players, we have had experienced players around them that have helped them this year, but we know there are little areas within the squad [we can improve]. Some of that’s what we have already, some of that’s how we might look to recruit going forward. This period now with what’s going on in the world has made it very difficult to plan too much on [transfers], how this is going to look in weeks or months going forward. We have to have different versions of plans going forward in terms of how it looks

Going into this break I feel like we were moving in the right direction. With the continued work on the day-to-day attitude of my club and myself, and the players, and with bringing in players in key areas that we think can help us to try and bridge that gap to Liverpool and City. I don’t want to jump the gun because what Liverpool and Manchester City have done has been clear. I’d be a fool to suggest we can bridge that gap quickly because there has been a lot of hard work at those clubs in terms of recruitment of top players, of great coaches. We have to be part of that process. We have to do it our way, we can’t try to copy

2020 04 14 Retrieve

[Lampard sees shades of Scholes in Gilmour and agrees with ‘world-class’ assessment of Chelsea teenager] I had to put my cup of tea down to hear Roy say something nice! Keane was a fantastic midfield player and he probably won’t give credit unless it’s due – and it certainly was due. He’s right, I heard the statements he made about Billy and I think he’s spot on. Billy should be happy with that and if he can go and follow the ideas that someone like Roy Keane says when it comes to midfield play he won’t go far wrong

[The Blues manager, who spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge in his playing days, added] Paul Scholes is obviously one of the greatest midfield players I’ve played against in the Premier League. He would always pick the right pass, he had incredible range. If you did try and jump from midfield and get to him and get close to him he’d just play it around the corner because he knew you were coming. Billy has shown early signs of that kind of ability. I’m not comparing him to Scholesy, no way at all, but in terms of those basics that you mentioned, then Billy certainly has them and that’s a great platform to build hopefully a fantastic career.

2020 04 15 Retrieve

[Kante to stay at Chelsea unless he’s forced out amid reported Real Madrid & Barcelona interest] We have the good young players, we have had experienced players around them that have helped them this year, but we know there are little areas within the squad [we can improve]. Some of that’s what we have already, some of that’s how we might look to recruit going forward. This period now with what’s going on in the world has made it very difficult to plan too much on [transfers], how this is going to look in weeks or months going forward. We have to have different versions of plans going forward in terms of how it looks

2020 04 16 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has been impressed with the charitable response of his club] I have been watching it closely with a lot of people talking about it, and I completely understand what a lot of prominent people in football have said: that players will do the right thing. They needed some time, and I think the politicians jumped the gun while things were being prepared. People behind the scenes knew that. It was unfortunate that picture got painted. But since then a lot of players and clubs have stood up in a good way. Not every situation has been perfect, but knowing players and how they think, that’s been a very good reaction. It’s ongoing, and it shouldn’t stop. That reaction needs to continue. If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, if there are things we can all learn, it’s how we give back and how we stick together. It’s very easily said, it’s much harder done, and I think there have been a lot of good gestures that have shown that

2020 05 02 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard warns players must not get coronavirus tests ahead of key workers] The idea of the health and safety of the players is huge. The country has practiced social distancing so well and the fact we play this contact sport that we are so desperate to see for a form of escapism, if anything, so how are we not going to put the players at risk within that? The other issue is talking about the testing that we are going to be doing. We probably have 70 or 80 staff at Cobham, minimum, if we are going to restart training. If we’re going to test regularly, then that’s fine. But when when we’re looking around the world - and I don’t know the testing numbers for the NHS and careworkers, these people that are doing incredible roles over the last two months or so - I don’t think it would sit well, not just with me but with anybody, if we didn’t make sure the people that are getting tested are on that front line. That’s important for football to take its place. After that, we probably have the football issues, which would be neutral venues and out of contract players, of which we have a couple of major players, so there are many conversations and I think that’s very clear at the minute

2020 05 03 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has described N’Golo Kante as one of the best players in the world] We had four or five of those [injured players] when we finished playing recently. N’Golo Kante is obviously a great example because he’s played four or five incredible seasons in terms of his individual success and he’s been used quite rightly by his managers a lot. This season he’s played only about 40% of our games and even then it’s been difficult for him and I’ve really felt for him on an individual level. He’s been a huge miss for us. Looking forward, whenever a restart comes we want to get him in the best shape, want to get Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the best shape. We’ve had slightly different plans for them but they’ve been scuppered with what we’ve had to do. The players’ health comes first, the mental well-being of the players comes first. The self-isolation was tough at first because nobody really knew what it was about we are just trying to get those players who have had extra problems fitter and of course when we get a chance to get back to full training we can get them back to where we need them to be. We obviously need N’Golo Kante back in our team, one of the best players in the world. I knew that before I became manager of Chelsea and know that now from working with him. I haven’t been able to have him much this year and going forward we, of course, want him fit and raring to go

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Chelsea reopen training ground ahead of ‘Project Restart’ meeting as foreign players self-isolate] I’ll be having conversations with players and staff about how they feel about the situation regularly. In terms of how we have worked in the last period, the players have all been conforming to government regulations. We have plans and we have tried to vary it week-by-week. It has been a long time now with the players in this situation. Some of them have been able to go to Cobham if they live close to our training ground and work there in probably a safer environment. Of course, on their own and they all get their own slots so they don’t see anybody else who has just gone. I think most clubs are doing something similar. I think this is a leveller for all of football. Everybody is in the same boat and we have been just trying to do the right thing and the best thing in terms of keeping the players fit.

2020 05 16 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is hopeful that deals can be struck with Olivier Giroud and Willian if the Premier League season resumes] It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway. We have big players [out of contract] so that’s something I’m obviously looking at very carefully. The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feelings for the club. Of course they’ll be concerned about themselves, in terms of how training is now and if the pre-season is a rush they’re going to have to make sure they’re alright. So it’s going to have to be something we have to look at, hopefully that arrangement can be made so they can stay with us. I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works

Everyone will handle those situations differently. People like Troy Deeney, you have to give the freedom to speak out, because people will be speaking from the heart. Their intentions and their feelings for their families are good. They want to get here and work. They can’t wait to get back and play football. I think the important part of my job at the moment is a lot of empathy with the players. You can’t just say: ‘Lads, we’re going this way,’ because this is a situation none of us have known. This is not a players’ strike, it’s not a player not wanting to train, or a player having an argument with another player, this is something that has affected everyone and their families

2020 05 19 Retrieve

[Chelsea exercise option to extend Caballero’s contract until 2021] We have big players [out of contract], so that’s something I’m obviously looking at very carefully. The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feelings for the club. Of course, they’ll be concerned about themselves, but hopefully that arrangement can be made so they can stay with us. I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works

2020 05 20 Retrieve

[Chelsea renew Giroud’s contract until 2021] Since I have been back at Chelsea, Olivier has been brilliant as a professional and as a man in general

2020 05 20b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Caballero is a vital member of the team and was impressed by his nine appearances in all competitions this term] I trust in Willy, he trains brilliantly and is a great professional. He stepped into the team earlier this year and showed his quality, and his experience is invaluable in the dressing room. I’m delighted he will be with us next season.

2020 05 20c Retrieve

[Giroud set to remain at Chelsea as club announces contract extension] Since I have been back at Chelsea, Olivier has been brilliant as a professional and as a man in general. He has great qualities to help the squad both on and off the pitch, not only with his talent but with the example he sets every day and the experience he brings to our young squad. I am very pleased that will continue next season

2020 05 22 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has already expressed his concern at potentially losing both Pedro and Willian] It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway. We have big players [out of contract] so that’s something I’m obviously looking at very carefully. The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feelings for the club. Of course they’ll be concerned about themselves, in terms of how training is now and if the pre-season is a rush. They’re going to have to make sure they’re alright. So it’s going to have to be something we have to look at. Hopefully an arrangement can be made so they can stay with us. I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Lampard expects standard dip behind closed doors but welcomes return of ‘proper football’] It’s certainly proper football. There are clear things that are going to be affected, you may not get to the level of what we get with crowds because that’s why the Premier League is for me the best in the world, because our home fans drive us on and that’s why home advantage is so important but when you go away, that hostility and tribalism sometimes drives you on as well. It’s a beautiful thing. Of course it’s football [the behind-closed-door games]. There will be things that are different and I’ll have to speak to the players about that but when there’s three points and when you’re playing for your team and you want to get somewhere in the league, then of course the focus is there

One of the things for me as a manager that I’ve learnt in this two-month period is that communication is so key. When we went into isolation we all felt like we went into this crazy bubble that we’re not used to. Me sending messages to the players and asking how they felt was so important. I didn’t want to bombard them so they were bored of me but I did want them to know that I’m here. As the talk of restarting came it was an important conversation that we had collectively. Everybody is different and we’ve seen that with the reaction of players and that has to be respected in all ways. We work every day as a family and a team and we’ll respect everyone and how they feel about the restart and coming back to work

2020 05 25 Retrieve

[Lampard aware he must ‘upset 10 to 15 players’ as he accepts Chelsea critique] I know that a manager is going to upset 10 to 15 of his players every week and make decisions that people are going to be unhappy about and scrutinise. I think you just have to accept that as part of it, and I try not to make that the focal point. I try to see the bigger picture and think, if I can be honest and up front with the players – which is not always easy – then the players will respect you in the end, even if they are upset when they’re walking down that corridor. That’s how I felt as a player and I certainly respected the managers who were up front with me, even if they were giving me bad news sometimes

I wouldn’t say players spoke about it much. I think players tend to be very much in the moment and I probably was like that to a degree as well. I wouldn’t have sat there and spoken too much with other players about it, and some of my former team-mates who have gone into management have surprised me. I’ve read that some others are surprised I’ve done it, because of how I was as a player. I wasn’t always hugely vocal in the dressing room as vice-captain, I wasn’t expected to be, because of the attributes John [Terry] had and the slightly different ones I had

2020 06 01 Retrieve

[Lampard looking for ‘a few additions’ as Chelsea draw up plans for next transfer window] I’m certainly excited about the squad we’ve got, with the young players and if we can get a few additions for areas I feel we need. We didn’t bring in anyone in January, it didn’t work out to be right for us at the time, and last summer we couldn’t bring anyone in, so those windows are gone and we haven’t changed. So I am excited about the squad we’ve got, if we can freshen up in the right areas we all know that

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Lampard takes a leaf out of Liverpool’s book to sign right player at right time] As part of their journey, they have signed the right players at the right times; ones that feel pivotal. Virgil van Dijk, Alisson – they have a great knack of signing players that suit the way they want to play and help them keep moving forward. It’s a great model in those terms but I don’t want to look anywhere near like I’m comparing us now. I’m under no illusions about that but what I do understand is that behind their story can be attributed to the hard work that they have been prepared to do

[Lampard has been aware for some time, though, that he has an issue to address up front. In February, for example, he was clearly frustrated by the fact that it was left to full-back Marcos Alonso to earn his side a draw at Bournemouth] The character of the team was great but we need more goals. Marcos Alonso has had a big week but I don’t want my left-back top of the scoring charts. I want our attackers scoring goals and they haven’t been

The character of the team was great but we need more goals. Marcos Alonso has had a big week but I don’t want my left-back top of the scoring charts. I want our attackers scoring goals and they haven’t been

2020 06 07 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has opened up on the difficult preparations for upcoming behind-closed-doors games] In football terms, you prepare pretty much the same. There will definitely be different variables around the game now. We’ll have to try to make sure we prepare as well as we can in terms of being ready for the change in atmosphere. We’ve had discussions about that with the players. It will be different for everyone. It may change the pace of the game, it might change the slight tone of it. We’ve seen that slightly in Germany and we need to be ready to adapt to that. All we can do really is get ourselves as fit as possible. That’s been a difficult task in the short term, to get fit when we’re used to longer pre-seasons. We have worked hard on that, and when it comes to match days we’ll have to make sure we’re very ready for the changes from the norm, and make sure it doesn’t affect our performance on the pitch

With so much time off, and so much time to sit and scrutinise the table and your positions, for everyone, there is going to be so much spotlight on this. Every game now in the nine league games is going to have something on it for different reasons. The first two games are good examples of that. Villa are fighting for their lives, City have huge quality, we know that. It’s a difficult start and we’ll need to be ready

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Lampard hoping to have Willian and Pedro contribute despite contract uncertainty] We want them to extend their stay and make sure they can see out the season. I see both sides. I see the individual player because I was one, and I respect that they have both been great servants to the club. I’ve had nothing but open conversations with them. We’re just trying to make that extension happen. The players have to be happy. We have to be happy. Hopefully, we can get there before the 23rd of June, next week, because that’s the day we have to get it done by. Anyone around us knows that. So we will keep talking and hopefully they stay on.

Pedro is certainly available. He actually had a bit of a bang on his ankle last week but he’s fit and wanting to train. He’s going to get some painkillers. It’s one of those impact kind of injuries that hang around a bit but he’s training well. So is Willian. I have got absolutely no worries about motivation. They are both top class professionals and have been great servants to the club. They’ve trained really well in this last three-and-a-half week period, which has been a tough physical period for them. I’ve got no issues at all with their motivation. Every time they put on a Chelsea shirt, as they have done for years, they will give everything.

I’m very happy that in the eyes of the law it’s been sorted out. That was my main concern at first. So that’s positive for us. I’m very sympathetic to the idea that we’re not angels or saints and we make mistakes, particularly at a young age. I will never be one to come down too harshly, albeit we have had conversations, myself and Callum. The big conversations with Callum now is to make sure he learns his lesson from what happened. He broke lockdown and that wasn’t good enough. He has admitted that and we move on. The next thing is to train consistently at a really high level to work hard in training every day. He came back from lockdown and got injured early in this period so now he has to work hard to get fit again. As much as the pitfalls off the pitch I want to see how he can work on the training pitch and get into this team, and perform to levels we all believe he can. It doesn’t come easy. That’s the big thing I say to Callum a lot and something he really has to take on board now

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Lampard insists Chelsea won’t need to sell Kante to finance Werner move] In terms of N’Golo, I’ve seen some talk and reports about him and his future at the club. I’ve said it a lot of times about N’Golo - one of the best midfield players in the world. I would have loved to be able to play with him. The type of player he is, he has everything. Coming back to Chelsea and getting the opportunity to manage this club and having N’Golo Kante is something I really want to appreciate and work with. This season, unfortunately, because of injuries, it’s been tough for N’Golo. It’s nice to see him a little bit fresh. One of the silver linings with this is we’ve managed to get a few players fitter and fresher. N’Golo is so important to us as a team going forward. We need him regularly and, hopefully, we will have that now

He’s fit and he’s been training. He trained for a period with the small sessions, socially distanced type training, but he’s been training with us as a group for a while now. He’s fit as anyone else in the team and he’s naturally fit anyway. Was it a difficult situation? Yes, because I was very sympathetic as I think the reaction was everywhere. But I have to deal with it at close quarters, with N’Golo and his feelings. It was very genuine. He wanted to be clear with how it was going to work around the training ground. As I say, that’s been sorted out in the short term. He’s training and he’s happy.

I think we haven’t done any business in the last two windows. I’m pleased with the business we’ve done. It feels good at the moment. But of course, we’ll judge that more next season. We’ll all be judged on that next season. When it comes to the squad it’s certainly something that we’re going to broach once we get beyond these games and finish this season. It’s what the balance of the squad looks like for next season, whether we can make improvements to the team

If we bring in we always want to it to be improving our squad. We will have to look at it at that point, in 10 games time, how the squad will look for next season. I want us to keep improving; I want us to keep striving; I want us to try and close the gap, which has been a pretty big gap to Liverpool and Manchester City. I’ve always said it’s what we do on the training daily. That’s my first job and then the players. Then can we look to improve in terms of how we build the squad? That will come after the season

2020 06 19b Retrieve

[Lampard explains how Chelsea won race for Werner] I don’t know, that’s probably a better question to ask Timo himself. We worked as hard as we could. I had good conversations with him personally, where I think he hopefully understands what I want to do here with the club, how we work, how we play. It seemed that it came across as a really exciting prospect for him, because he obviously had some very, very good options. We’re happy with that, it was very joined up from our end as to how we went about it, and we’re just pleased that Timo has decided to come to us

2020 06 19c Retrieve

[Lampard explains how Chelsea won race for £47.5m Werner] I think he’s clearly a player that we liked. I’ve certainly followed him for a long time myself, individually, just as a talented player, even before I had this job. But as a club, clearly we went for him, and he certainly will strengthen us in my opinion. He’s got huge talent, had a fantastic season this year but before that as well. Where we probably couldn’t do as much business in the last couple of windows for whatever reasons, it’s given us a chance to see some youth have more time in the team. But we were very clear about the fact we wanted to improve and Timo Werner is always a signing that will improve us. I’m certainly very excited to have him playing for Chelsea and we look forward to having him

We worked as hard as we could. I had good conversations with him personally, where I think he hopefully understands what I want to do here with the club, how we work, how we play. It seemed that it came across as a really exciting prospect for him, because he obviously had some very, very good options. We’re happy with that, it was very joined up from our end as to how we went about it, and we’re just pleased that Timo has decided to come to us. I did speak to him [after confirmation he was joining Chelsea] and he was excited, which is great and I am certainly excited to have him here. We will have to hold our breath slightly because we have business at hand and so does he, finishing their league. He is the type of player we are looking at to come here and have a big impact. We will have to give him a bit of time, the Premier League is a different animal to other leagues in world football. But the quality that Timo has, the work ethic and personality, humility, really shone through for me when I was speaking to him. I am very happy to have him.

Yes, I have spoken to Tammy before on the idea of competition and I don’t feel the need to have to address every player after one comes in at a club like Chelsea because that’s what it is about. It has been about that in its most successful years in recent years in the Roman Abramovich era mainly. Tammy has had a really good season for us and he has to sustain and improve on that because at Chelsea we have demands. I am happy to have options and we have options in forward areas and we must have competition for places. I am pleased with the idea of that

2020 06 20 Retrieve

[Werner and Ziyech statement signings show Abramovich’s commitment to Chelsea and winning trophies] I haven’t spoken to him [Abramovich] recently. I speak to Marina a lot and with Petr. We are very joined up and we talk a lot and communication is key in that. When you say that I know the owner very well, in the workplace, to a degree, I do. But I also understand what he wants for this club. I played under it, I felt it as a player when he first came here so I get that with my conversations with Marina that’s always relayed. I want the same [as him]. In terms of his commitment, I think he has shown his commitment regularly to our football club. We have done some business now that will hopefully improve us for next season and we want to keep moving forward. One thing I really realised coming into this job, I was here a long time as a player, but as manager people will consistently ask you about your relationship with the board and the owner et cetera. I hope that this shows how we’ve worked together, all of us, with how we work, with recruitment, scouting and all playing our roles, in trying to bring the right players and being joined up. So I think we have to be very positive. This is Chelsea Football Club and we want to close the gap and signings like Timo and Ziyech both are nice statements. There are other areas we might want to improve as we go along. But there has to be players available in the market that we can get, and we feel confident and comfortable that we can get them at the right price and to fill the right holes and improve us. At the moment we’re positive with that but now the games have started it’s really important for myself, that the players and I focus on trying to finish the season well and then hopefully we can have the excitement of some new players that we know now are coming in to help us next year

Yeah, it probably does, and I get that. There’s pressure in the Chelsea job whatever. There’s expectations to whatever degree; we’re a well-supported club, well-followed club and scrutiny is big as we know. That’s why we love the Premier League and why we’re trying to do our best. So I don’t mind the idea, I get it. We’re trying to improve here. I’m under no illusions. I want us to improve first and foremost. So I don’t mind that pressure. I will have more pressure on myself. I know this year from within some of the obstacles or the things that we’re sometimes working against or with trying to do as well as we can. Of course, bringing in players that we feel are improvements, you have to go and then show that. So that will be up to the individuals themselves, and it will be my job as well. So if the pressure ramps up that will be fair enough. We do know that there is a big gap going upwards when you look at the performance of Liverpool and City in the last couple of years.

So we need to really work to try and close that gap and we have to be ready to give the players that come in, the two we’re talking about, time for adaptation to the league. We hope it’s not that much, we really believe in their qualities, but we want to be working towards closing that gap above us.

It is going to be tough and it is hard to make predictions on how many points. You want every point that’s on the table and that would get us to the position we want to be in but there’s a lot of tough games in that run-in. Any run-in would be tough in the Premier League so it is just a battle and we will have to take the games as they come, remain focused on ourselves and not try and look around too much because if we can focus on ourselves and get the right results, then it can look after ourselves. It is going to be a tough battle because you have got teams behind us and around us that are pushing for the same reasons that we are pushing. They have a lot of quality. We are aware of that but we will try and do our best. In terms of next season, yes, a club like Chelsea and how we are, we want to be in the Champions League. The players will always want to be in the Champions League so it is something we want to try and do. If not, we have to be realistic because of the competition. Then next season, we will try to improve as well as we can in whatever competitions we are in.

2020 06 21 Retrieve

[Lampard had assured his players ahead of kick-off that they will still have a role to play even if they are not always named in the starting line-up] Certainly nobody should get their head down at not starting. We’re going to have to make subs and we’re going to need impact off the bench

I know Christian was very hungry. He has trained well. The ability that he has got to arrive in the box is a big thing that I have spoken to him about all season. It is the difference between being a very good player off-the-side as an attacking player or the players at the real top level of the game that arrive and score in the six-yard box and who hit big numbers yearly. I really think Christian can do that, so I was pleased with the impact he made when he came on. He will start games for us, of course. I think he is going to be a big player for us, not just in this run-in, but going forward.

2020 06 21b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard hailed Christian Pulisic as a top-class player after Chelsea’s win over Aston Villa] He was hungry, I know that and I felt for him. He has trained well. The ability to arrive in the box is a big thing. It is a difference between being a very good player on the flank and a top-class player. With Christian and Ross [Barkley] they both have trained well, I have selection problems, good ones. I had them on my mind to come on early in the second half

I am delighted for Ruben to be back in the fold. He got in the team on his own merit with working well. In training, he has looked good and strong. We need to give him time to adapt. I thought it was a game for his physicality. There is more to come

[Lampard added on Chelsea needing to add a cutting edge to their game in the final third] am really pleased with the performance. Villa had the opportunity to do it one time more. It was new for us. We moved the ball well, dominated but we need to be more clinical. I can give leeway on that because it has been a long time out

2020 06 21c Retrieve

[Why Werner needs Willian and Pedro to stay at Chelsea] We are hoping they sign [short-term] extensions. Of course, have to just get our heads down, work hard and try to finish the season as best as we can. But they are clearly two important players for us and it would be very unfortunate if we don’t have them available for the end of the season

Pedro’s outstanding in terms of his work ethic and the players look up to him for what he has done in the game. Parts of the season have been difficult for him. He was in the team at the start of the season but got injured and was out of the team for a while. But what he has shown, particularly of late, is a real desire in training. He looks sharp, is always giving advice and lifts everybody with his body language. He is an infectious character and he can be one of our most important players until the end of the season

We all know about Willian’s ability on the ball. But his off-the-ball work is an outstanding example for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and other young players who think the only part of the game is going by people, crossing or shooting. He certainly has that classic Brazilian flair in terms of his touch and his quick feet but the selfless side of the game is the ideal starting point for me when it comes to evaluating players and he does the hard graft brilliantly and with absolute humility. He’s been a joy to work with and is one of the experienced players who is helping the young boys.

2020 06 23 Retrieve

[Willian agrees deal to remain at Chelsea until end of the domestic season] We want them to extend their stay and make sure they can see out the season. I see both sides. I see the individual player because I was one, and I respect that they have both been great servants to the club. I’ve had nothing but open conversations with them. We’re just trying to make that extension happen. The players have to be happy. We have to be happy. Hopefully we can get there before the 23rd of June, next week, because that’s the day we have to get it done by. Anyone around us knows that. So we’ll keep talking and hopefully they stay on

2020 06 24 Retrieve

[Lampard provides update on Chelsea interest in top player Havertz] He’s obviously a top player, but to carry on from my answer before I’m certainly not going to comment on other players at other teams. And it cannot be our focus. So, nothing to say. [But] No. No bids have gone in

2020 06 24b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says that he always felt confident that Chelsea would be able to keep hold of Willian and Pedro for the rest of the season] We are still talking with the players, and Willian in particular, we are talking with him. It was hard for me to comment too much because it was announced yesterday. But I was always felt confident that they would remain, they’ve been fantastic professionals for the club, and servants in all senses. And when you have that level of professionalism within you, I think it’s a sign that they wanted to stay and see out the season at least. So we’ll carry on talking and see. But I think everybody’s focus now is on these next games, the individuals themselves and us as a club

I’m pleased, negotiations were relatively easy, because both sides wanted the same thing. The two players wanted to make sure they could see the season out with us. At this point we need them in the squad, they are both important players for us, so I’m happy.

2020 06 24c Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says that he supports Raheem Sterling’s fight for equality in football, but doesn’t necessarily agree with the fact that his own rise in management was used in an individual comparison] I think there is certainly an argument. I think we’re moving forwards and I think we can move forward more quickly, where [black] players are getting equal opportunities if they move into management. Not just players, but also young coaches who come into the game. The FA do a lot of good work, I’ve just finished my pro licence, it was very diverse, it was very open. That needs to be encouraged, if there’s anything we can do to ensure everyone gets an equal opportunity in the paths towards management, then it needs to be done. The numbers suggest that needs to be done. But with Raheem, the individual comparison, when you don’t have the detail of each person’s pathway, I felt it wasn’t quite right. Again, I’ll level that out slightly, because I want to say that Raheem Sterling as a player, and as a person and what he’s stood up for over the last two years, I think has been fantastic

2020 06 24d Retrieve

[Frank Lampard is comfortable playing N’Golo Kante in an advanced midfield role because he believes the Frenchman has the attributes to play anywhere on the field] I think we all know N’Golo’s attributes, and he hasn’t really played as the deep-lying midfielder, he’s generally played as one of two, or in recent times one of the more slightly offensive players ahead of one deep-lying midfield player

I think he has the attributes to do all roles, that’s one of the beauties of the way he plays and, of course, what he gives by winning the ball back, being so quick in the tackle, so quick into the press, covering lots of ground – and also how good he is on the ball, I think people can underestimate how good N’Golo is on the ball, how quickly he can move with it and pass the ball.

So I’ve got no problem in playing him in different positions, it’s something we’ve worked on with him a little bit, and it gives me good options to have different types of attributes in that deeper position at times

2020 06 24e Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has hailed incredible Willian, detailing how the normally-reserved winger has emerged as a vital leader for the Blues this season] He’s been incredible in terms of that the younger players look up to him. He’s played every level, and at a high level himself throughout. He has a great character about him and it’s good, it’s important when you have a lot of young players that they have people to look up to from within. He’s not a shouter and a screamer, but he certainly works by example in how he is daily, so yes, I’m very thankful for having him in the squad this year

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard also admitted some amusement at the thought of Liverpool fans cheering for the Blues against City] That is an unusual combination! I think Liverpool won the league months ago, but not taking anything away from them if they were to win it tonight. They have been outstanding. They should celebrate for their brilliant performances. That’s for them to celebrate whenever and we will just focus on our performance tonight. You want to deliver against Man City. Tonight won’t be pivotal [in the top-four race] but we want a result. We have one of the best teams in the country or the world coming to the Bridge - it’s going to be a tough match

2020 06 25b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has suggested that Willian may yet be talked into prolonging his association with Chelsea] Yes, we are still talking with the players and Willian in particular we are talking with him. I always felt confident that they would remain. They have been fantastic professionals for the club and servants in all senses and when you have that level of professionalism within you it was a sign that they wanted to stay and see out this season at least. So we will carry on talking and see but I think everybody’s focus now is on these next games, the individuals themselves and us as a club. I’m pleased negotiations were relatively easy because both sides wanted the same thing. The two players wanted to make sure they could see the season out with us. At this point we need them in the squad they are both important players for us so I’m happy

2020 06 25c Retrieve

[Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are different class, according to Frank Lampard] It was tough. When you come up against a team of Manchester City’s quality – in individuals, in the way they’re coached – for me, they’re the best, in terms of the way they play football, so great to watch. Pep and Jurgen Klopp are different class, hence why Liverpool are winning the league tonight! We had to work every bit that we could to try and get a result. We had to work defensively so, so hard and we did it, and we created the better chances on the night

[Benjamin Mendy was shown up by Pulisic for the first goal, before Fernandinho saw red to give Willian the opportunity to win the game after handballing on the line] You always try and limit your errors, which there have been issues with at times, and you always try and capitalise [on your opponents’] but when you’ve got pace and you’ve got players like Christian who can get away from people and drive with the ball, you can do that. We’ve had the ball more than any team I think, regularly this season in games, the bigger percentage. But today against Manchester City when they play a false nine and they’ve got bodies in midfield, it’s really tough so we had to tweak a little bit at half-time, suffer in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but I think we deserved the win on chances

Olly [Olivier Giroud] has been great for us but when you think about attributes and I knew we were suffering and we needed an outlet. Maybe to press a bit higher up the pitch, it’s a lot of work we’re asking for from the players but at any moment you need your subs and you need people to come on fresh and bring energy to the team and I thought Tammy did that

2020 06 25d Retrieve

[Lampard will have plenty of attacking options next season and he has made it clear to Abraham – and the rest of the squad – that no player can afford to take their starting spot for granted] I have spoken to Tammy before about competition. I don’t have to address every player if another one comes in. It’s how it has been in the (Roman) Abramovich era. Tammy has been fantastic this season but he has to sustain his form and improve because at Chelsea we have demands

2020 06 26 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard considers Christian Pulisic to have so much talent] Christian came in last summer. Lot of talk about it. He didn’t really get a break when he got in the team. He was playing really well and gets a really tough injury. I wanted to protect him a bit against Villa, see that he could make an impact. He did that. I always planned to start him against Man City because I know what he can bring in these sort of games and he brought it. He did really well. He needs to keep working, he’s a young player but he’s got so much talent and he can get better and better

2020 06 26b Retrieve

[Ambition has been shown in the transfer market when tying up deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, with Lampard hoping to push the Blues back into title contention during his tenure] There is a clear gap and it won’t happen overnight with one or two signings. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Liverpool and City have been works in progress for a few years now and they are getting a lot of success, a bit of success now. I’m not getting carried away. We can get better. We can be better on the ball. We can have more possession

2020 06 26c Retrieve

[Chelsea had their struggles against City but Lampard and his coaching staff twice made excellent use of the water breaks to change the flow of the game] We suffered for 20 minutes at the start of the game and we suffered for 20 minutes in the second half. Of course, they are going to have a lot possession and sometimes they play without an out-and-out striker with a lot of men in midfield, so getting to grips with that was tough for us. Going into the game, we had a plan in terms of what we wanted to do off the ball and while we had some issues at times, the players did brilliantly in terms of their discipline and in maintaining it for the whole game. We were dangerous and we created the better chances, so I am delighted for the boys

[Lampard knows just how much the bar has been raised by City and Liverpool over the past few seasons] There is a clear gap and it won’t close overnight with one or two signings. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Liverpool and City have been works in progress for a few years now and they are getting a lot of success. So, I’m not getting carried away. We can get better. We can be better on the ball. We can have more possession. It’s one of the only games in which we didn’t have the lion’s share of possession but we have to accept that for now and be happy with the result

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Pulisic has the talent to score goals like Salah, Mane or Sterling] I think he can be a really big player. Because he broke through so young in Germany and he moves to us, people’s expectations rise, but we have to take his age into consideration

There’s no doubt in his quality and you can see that. He is very keen to work and improve. He is particularly hungry at the minute because of his injury. And if he wants to learn, and he does, on the training pitch and how he sees the game, he needs to look at the players he sees around him who have made that sort of jump like the Raheem Sterlings, Sadio Manes and Mo Salahs who are now producing numbers [of goals] from wide areas

It is important that he understands the work he needs to do to do that because he definitely has the talent to do it. He needs to try and get to that level and I am delighted to have him at the minute. He works hard every day and he has to set his sights as high as he can

Yes, I think it is important. You have to have that idea but the reality is the competition you go up against with the teams that are still in this FA Cup means it is going to be tough. We are in a year of slight transition

Of course, our focus is always the league but when it comes to Chelsea, when you get to a quarter-final, you want to try and get to Wembley and you want to try and go and win it. It is important to focus on that. We are building, we are working and it won’t be easy to try and win this trophy. But with the squad we have and the positive feeling we have at the minute in the group, we have to go in with the right attention

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is hopeful Christian felt a tightness in his calf in the second drinks break, hopefully nothing that keeps him out] The result was satisfying and getting to the semis was satisfying. We weren’t our usual selves today. We were below what we usually produce. But I am happy with the result. We won the game and must learn from some of the mistakes in our game. I don’t want to sound too down after this. You have to show the grit to get a win when you don’t play well. We go on to the next one. We can park the Cup and focus on getting the league wins to be in the Champions League

It is a learning experience. I could have taken more off, or other players off. I am not pulling those out on their own. They will be top players for this club and have top careers. But if I have to do something in games I will do it. It was one of those games where I had to do something. They will take it on the chin. We were gifting Leicester space and ease to win the ball back. We are fortunate they didn’t take those chances. All thee subs, in their own way, livened up the performance

2020 06 28b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has praised Ross Barkley after he came off the bench to fire Chelsea into the FA Cup semi-finals, saying the midfielder is reaping the benefits of hard work on the training ground] I played with Ross and I know he’s a great lad. He wants to be the best player he can be and has a great attitude in that sense. I won’t touch on that one, all I’ll say is before we went into lockdown he put in some really good performances for us. His attitude has been spot on in training since the minute we’ve been back, how he trains and it shows how he looked after himself in lockdown. He was unfortunate not to start against Villa and since then has made an impact in every game he has played

A great example of when you train at a level, have that attitude and when you have the quality that Ross has. He can score goals. He can shoot with both feet. He makes the box. He defended well and showed great discipline in his game against Manchester City. He is reaping the benefits and showing it. I’ve got lots of time for Ross, he’s a big player for us and you could see that in the last three games.

2020 06 28c Retrieve

[Lampard will speak to future ‘top players’ Gilmour, Mount and James after they disappoint against Leicester in FA Cup] I could have made different changes as well. Mason has played two games in a week and gave a lot of input against Manchester City for 90 minutes. Reece James hasn’t played for a long time, since lockdown. Billy was the same. These are contributing factors around it. They are going to be top players for this club no matter what. They are going to have top careers in football. They will have really, really top careers because of the players they are. Whether you can call it a learning experience, it was just a factor of how I saw the game. They can take it on board. They are all good lads, all train well and all have a good work ethic. I’ve never had a problem with the three of them at all. I’ve got no worries; it was just the circumstances today

[Lampard showed his ruthless side to his three youngsters, but he isn’t blaming them and may take them aside in the next analysis session following the match] Yes, I possibly will [speak to them again]. I spoke to them all briefly at half-time and the end because it does happen in football. This is what it is. Sometimes it’s a tough game for different reasons. I’ll happily speak to them. I have got no problem with them; it certainly doesn’t feel an issue where I can say they didn’t give me anything. The performance was lethargic for the whole team and they were part of that. But individually, it’s very tough to stand out when a performance is like that. I’ll say that to them; it’s not a problem. If it’s a bit of a learning one, then fine but if I had a problem with work ethic or attitude I’d say it. But I don’t have that with them. It will be a brief conversation and we will move on. They are going to be big players for us

2020 06 28d Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Frank Lampard addressed the club’s reported interest in Havertz last week] He’s obviously a top player, but to carry on from my answer before I’m certainly not going to comment on other players at other teams

2020 06 28e Retrieve

[Frank Lampard challenges Christian Pulisic to reach Raheem Sterling and Mo Salah level] I think he can be a really big player, because he broke through at such a young age in Germany and he made a big move, obviously expectations rise but you have to keep the age in consideration. There is no doubt about his quality, we can see that and he is very keen to improve. He’s particularly hungry at the minute because he missed some time with an injury. If he looks at players around him that have made that sort of a jump, he has the ability like Raheem Sterling to produce numbers from wide areas, like [Mo] Salah and [Sadio] Mane. He understands the work that needs to be done to do that. He definitely has the talent, he needs to get to that level. I’m delighted to have him at the minute, he works hard everyday, he has to set his sights as high as he possibly can

[Winning the first trophy] was very important to us at the time because we were a team of not many winners, we didn’t have too many titles between us, we were a relatively young team. Jose brought that mentality to us and winning the first one obviously helps you to push on. In our team I feel we have a mixture of players who have been here and won a lot and some younger players who haven’t done that, in my managerial career I haven’t. I recognise the importance of that, that’s what we are here for, to win things at a club like Chelsea. It doesn’t fall short on me, the FA Cup is something we are going to give everything to [try and win]. We have a difficult game against Leicester of course, we know the quality they have but we have to focus on trying to go as far as we can, it would be a big boost if we got further.

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Ross Barkley’s second-half goal was enough to send Chelsea into the FA Cup semi-finals, beating Leicester 1-0 at the King Power Stadium] I played with Ross and he is a great lad. His attitude has been spot on in training since the minute we’ve been back. He was unfortunate not to start against Villa and since then he has made an impact in every game he has played. He is reaping the benefits. I’ve got a lot of time for Ross and he is a big player for us

I don’t think we’ve played that badly this season for 45 minutes. We’ve played better and lost games. I could have made more or different subs. We needed to drag ourselves out of a lethargic performance and we did. We were fortunate to be 0-0 at half-time and we must learn from little mistakes from the game. I don’t want to sound too down because it’s important to show you’ve got the grit to get a 1-0 win when you don’t play well. It looks like I’m criticising but it’s positive because it’s not the norm for us

2020 06 29b Retrieve

[Chelsea boss demands more from his side despite booking FA Cup semi-final spot] I don’t think we’ve played that badly this season for 45 minutes. We’ve played better and lost games. I could have made more or different subs. We needed to drag ourselves out of a lethargic performance and we did. We were fortunate to be 0-0 at half-time and we must learn from little mistakes from the game. I don’t want to sound too down because it’s important to show you’ve got the grit to get a 1-0 win when you don’t play well. It looks like I’m criticising but it’s positive because it’s not the norm for us

[Barkley a big player for Chelsea] I played with Ross and he is a great lad. His attitude has been spot on in training since the minute we’ve been back. He was unfortunate not to start against Villa and since then he has made an impact in every game he has played. He is reaping the benefits. I’ve got a lot of time for Ross and he is a big player for us

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Given Pulisic’s last appearance pre-lockdown came on New Year’s Day due to a torn adductor muscle, the speed in which he has rediscovered his best form is hugely encouraging for Lampard] I think he can be a really big player. Because he broke through so young in Germany and he moves to us, people’s expectations rise, but we have to take his age into consideration. There’s no doubt in his quality and you can see that. He is very keen to work and improve. He is particularly hungry at the minute because of his injury. And if he wants to learn, he needs to look at the players he sees around him who have made that sort of jump like Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, who are now producing numbers [of goals] from wide areas. It is important that he understands the work he needs to do to do that, because he definitely has the talent to do it. He needs to try and get to that level and I am delighted to have him at the minute.

2020 06 30b Retrieve

[Lampard denies interest in Angel Gomes after Man Utd exit & distances Chelsea from Declan Rice raid] I can elaborate to the point that it’s never been mentioned at my end, so that’s it. Declan Rice is a good player you’re right, and I’ve known him for a long time, he was in the Chelsea academy. But there’s no talk, I keep saying, about every player we’ll be asked about. Until these games and this season is finished, there’s nothing to say

I am in the process of arranging that plan now. You are right, they do become our players. They are also in different positions in the fact that Hakim hasn’t played for a long time because of the Dutch league situation and Timo finished at the weekend. We will formulate a plan for them that will look slightly different individually. We will decide in the meantime at Cobham in the training ground whether that means mixing with the squad or whether that means some physical work in the shorter term for themselves

2020 06 30c Retrieve

[Angel Gomes: Frank Lampard denies Chelsea have offered contract to Man Utd midfielder] I can elaborate to the point that it’s never been mentioned on my end. That’s it. Declan Rice is a good player. I’ve known him for a long time, he was in Chelsea’s academy but there’s no talk. I’ll keep saying it about every player that we’ll be asked about until this season is finished - there’s nothing to say

Christian (Pulisic) felt a bit of tightness in his calf just as he came off against Leicester, so we’re managing him but I haven’t got an answer yet. It feels a bit better than it did at the end of the game so we’ll see by tomorrow. Andreas Christensen, likewise, is in the squad but we’ll have to see but with another 24 hours because of the tight turnaround

[Pedro will join Roma on a two-year deal at the campaign but the long-term future of Willian is yet to be decided] We’ve still got ongoing conversations with him. I’ve got no clarity on that yet but we will continue to talk. He knows what I think of him as a player. He’s been very, very good for me this year. I played with him, I know him very well. It’s a very honest and open conversation. I understand that he has options and that is something that has to be taken seriously, particularly at this stage of his career

2020 06 30d Retrieve

[Frank Lampard has faith in Chelsea’s Mason Mount] Mason wouldn’t have been happy to come off at half-time. But it should be a case of not being happy that evening and then getting straight back to it afterwards, because he knows how much I trust in him and he works brilliantly every day. And when I say Mason, I mean Billy (Gilmour) and Reece (James) in the same breath because they show similar attitude

There was no problem with Mason because it was a one-off game, I had to make a decision and it doesn’t affect my thinking for West Ham or going forwards. Mason played 90 minutes in both the first two games after the restart, and was unfortunate not to score or have an assist. So he had two big performances in a week. And then with the Leicester game Mason didn’t have a bad performance and my choices to change were more about the players I could bring into that performance as opposed to the ones that were on the pitch

I could make a lot of changes in that game, so it was more about, ‘Can I bring some energy into the team? So I rely on Mason a lot, I did at Derby, I do at Chelsea, he brings so much to the team in his work ethic and the way he can start the press in midfield. His quality on the ball is already at a high level and it’s only going to get better

[Mount could come face to face with friend Declan Rice when Chelsea] I think it spurs you on more if you have a personal relationship with an opponent either way - whether you are best friends or you don’t even like each other. I also think the result of that is not concrete either - you will either have your best of games in that sort of circumstance but you can also become overly focused on that relationship and have a not so good game They are two very good players. But there is only one thing I will ask of Mason - and from my point of view that is obviously all I care about going into this one. He texts him tonight, he smiles at him in the tunnel or whatever it is, but if and when they go up against each other he has try to beat him in every individual battle that he possibly can. And sensing Declan Rice’s character, I am sensing they will both be like-minded on that one. We will see

2020 07 02 Retrieve

[Andriy Yarmolenko stepped off the bench to hit the winner as West Ham shrugged off VAR controversy to beat Chelsea 3-2 and give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost] I wouldn’t say it’s the story of our season because it’s been a good season. But there have been so many of these moments. I explained it clearly to the players before the game: we had a good restart, three good results, and an opportunity today to go third. But you have to do every part of the game to get results in games like this

You can dominate possession, which we did for most of the game. But if there are moments where you switch off, if you go 1-0 up and then make two or three errors to them scoring and going 1-1 before half-time, you’re going to encourage teams on

It’s been there and I’m very aware of it, but the players in those moments have to show an extra mentality, an extra bit to do the bits that see a game through like this when you have a lot of domination

2020 07 03 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard hopeful Willian will sign new Chelsea contract and stay beyond this season] I haven’t given up hope on it. The club are still in discussions with him. We want him to stay at the club, but I also appreciate this contract for him is a big deal because of his age and where he’s at. I’ve been there before myself, and I respect that. The way he’s playing at the minute, he’s shown his worth to the squad. It’s something I hope we can get to, whatever way with Willian, he’s been a great servant to the club, if we can get it I’ll be happy, but if not I’ll certainly wish him well because I’ve got a lot of time for him. It’s ongoing, in short.

[Asked if the club would target taller players in the next transfer window] We looked at set-piece stats from last season when we came into the club. Last season, we were bottom of the league in defending set plays, in terms of other teams getting big chances against us. We were second bottom in attack. We looked at that, but that’s not just a reference to last season because we haven’t improved much this year. If you look at personnel, I really don’t like talking about my days of playing, but we didn’t really work on set-pieces at all. Certain managers more than others. There were probably a few reasons why; John Terry, Gary Cahill, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Branislav Ivanovic. You stick it into an area and they defend it or score goals. I think similar with Liverpool, I remember a lot of talk about them on set pieces two seasons ago. They were zonal, conceded a lot. They sign Virgil van Dijk and he heads everything that comes into the box out.

So there’s a huge relation to personnel, and if you don’t have a big size across the team, I think trying to compete and make it difficult for other teams to score is the main thing. I’m not trying to make excuses as we haven’t done that well enough on the pitch. That has to improve. When you look at who you might bring in, with the balance of the squad, in the modern day it’s certainly something to take into account when you’re looking at recruitment.

2020 07 03b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard: No need to address Marcos Alonso mistake after Gary Neville and Ashley Cole criticism] I haven’t spoken to him about it. I think it’s a dangerous game to comment on every pundit because you would probably have to have conversations with all of your players every week. That’s the nature of the beast and what we do. Yes, if I felt a player needed help or support in those situations, I would do, but I think we as players and myself are the biggest self-critics. We analyse games and go over them, talk with players individually or collectively. That’s my main focus, not so much what comes from outside

It’s much easier to comment from afar, we do try to play football, we try and be progressive but we don’t do that at the idea of wanting to concede goals.

Recovery runs are a huge part of football and the players must do them whether it’s the first or 90th minute. I don’t think it’s quite fair to just look at Marcos - in that isolated incident yes he can recover and we can recover better as a team, but that has to be something fundamental to the team

You have to run backwards as much as you run fast forwards, and you have to have the desire to make difficult runs to help the team. I can’t complain about the team with that this year

When you isolate one goal, that is so crucial because it wins the points, then fair enough, but I know with my players that generally we have a desire to press off the ball and when it goes beyond us, to recover and get there. It was a game where we slipped up, not just with that mistake but other mistakes, and we lost the game for it

2020 07 03c Retrieve

[Emerson Palmieri: Inter Milan open transfer talks with Chelsea for Italy defender] I’m not aware of the talks. What I am doing is focusing on the team and the squad day-to-day. I don’t have any real conversations about the transfer window, whether it’s who we might bring in or who might leave the club. Those are questions we do have to answer at the end of the season when the window opens. I don’t want to be swayed by rumour and gossip, and I’m not involved in it, so we’ll keep working

They haven’t arrived. The whole country is waiting on quarantine news. We’re waiting to make sure the players can travel and be able to move around and work as we’ll need them to. Timo has only just finished recently so he’s having a well-deserved break and will come later in July, Ziyech will come earlier but we have to wait on the quarantine news.

2020 07 04 Retrieve

[N’Golo Kante injured in Chelsea’s win over Watford] N’golo has got a small hamstring (injury) which we’ll have to scan tomorrow (Sunday) and see how bad it is. We hope it’s small, that’s what I’ve been told so far. After the scan we’ll know but I’m guessing it’ll be a problem for Palace on Tuesday

2020 07 04b Retrieve

[Kai Havertz: Playmaker linked with Chelsea ‘can leave Leverkusen this summer’] He’s a top player but we’re certainly not going to comment on players at other teams. It cannot be our focus. No bids have gone in

2020 07 05 Retrieve

[Chelsea brushed off their midweek setback to return to winning ways with a routine 3-0 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge] We played some nice stuff and it can be difficult to play against the low block. They came to defend so the way we broke it down was good. We could’ve been a bit more incisive with our passing in the second half but I’m delighted with the clean sheet. It was a comfortable evening for us.

Pre-West Ham, we could’ve gone third but we let ourselves down. We slipped to fifth before today, and responded. We need to get used to that sort of pressure, as it’s going to be tough all the way through

2020 07 06 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says it was a comfortable evening in the end for Chelsea as they won 3-0 at home to Watford] Pre-West Ham, we could have gone third and we let ourselves down. Today, there was a bit of pressure to get back to fourth and we produced - so get used to that pressure, whatever way it looks, because it’s going to be tough all the way through. We cannot get too caught up with what everyone else does at the moment

2020 07 06b Retrieve

[N’Golo Kante out of Chelsea’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace with hamstring injury] Kante won’t be in the squad - low-level hamstring injury. We’re hoping for a week or so [recovery time]. I would expect we would be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United

[Lampard quiet on Jorginho return] I don’t want to go into personal details, or positional and tactical details of why I pick the team. I just have to pick the team as I see best. They’re just my choices. He’s been very professional about it. He wants to play, as every player does. One of the hardest parts of the job is telling a player they’re not playing, particularly when they train well - and Jorginho always trains well. It’s important players, during the course of a long season, are there to support players when they’re out - and he’s done that

[Pulisic more direct than Hazard] Having played with Eden and seen him come to the club at a relatively young age - similar to Christian - we saw the development of him. He had a special talent straight away, of being able to receive a ball, have great balance and go past players so well. He would draw a lot of players towards him to open up space for others - he was pretty unselfish in how he would make assists.

Christian is possibly more direct, in terms of how he goes past players and runs off the ball - which I like. Eden would come and get the ball and take it past players a lot. With Christian, he has real ability to break a line and run forward, which is a really great trait in the modern game.

In terms of the comparison, and why I stayed away from it a bit; Eden has been here and done it, to an incredible level. Christian has it in his hands to go and make a real impact over a period of time. The thing I’m so happy with now is that when we’re finding it hard to break teams down, he’s taking responsibility to change that by using his ability to turn quickly and go past people. It’s been great to see and there’s a lot of development still to come with Christian. I’m very happy with him

2020 07 07 Retrieve

[Tammy Abraham Chelsea contract negotiations not affecting form] I think Tammy’s contract, we are not at a critical level with it. I will leave it with him and the club to discuss that side of it. I don’t think it is something that is clearly in his mind now, at least it shouldn’t be. What needs to be in his mind now is these games we have coming up and how much he can give us on the pitch, whether coming on as a sub or starting the game

He has had a really good season, he hasn’t scored as much in the second half of the season. But as a young player it is always clear when you have these periods there is only one way out of it and that is work and repetition in training. I think that is where Tammy is at. I think the contract will hopefully look after itself between him and the club and he just needs to focus on giving us that Tammy that we had earlier in the season. He was giving defenders so much of a problem in games and scoring regularly and it all came from how he was training and working in the week. That is just what he has to sustain all the time

2020 07 08 Retrieve

[Christian Pulisic’s end product delights Chelsea boss Frank Lampard] He’s got great talent. He came here in difficult conditions at the start of the season in terms of not having a break but he’s moved his game on to another level - not just in terms of how he’s going by people but he’s got real end product. I didn’t put any limits on him so he’s not surprised me. I knew the talent he had and I wanted to help him when he first got here because of the physical nature of the league. I had to manage him and then unfortunately he had quite a bad injury. But the hunger that he has, the quality that he’s showing, and the end product has been the most pleasing aspect. Since the restart, he’s been fantastic. You look around at the top attacking talent in the world, they score goals regularly that win games and at the moment he’s doing that, so I’m delighted with him

2020 07 08b Retrieve

[Lampard gets his substitutions Right] Considering the quality in our midfield during the first half, today wasn’t our greatest day. We weren’t as slick with the ball as we have been recently, and gave them the opportunity to press us and turn over possession. I thought Ruben could use his strength to drive with the ball and Tammy could stretch their defence with his running so I’m very pleased he got his goal. They’re a big three points because of the position we’re in. It’s tight around us and it’s nice mentally to be third for maybe a short period. The game could’ve been more comfortable for us tonight but then we could also have lost those three points at the end there. It might be nice to dwell on the three points, but my job is to look into how we can get better and I feel we still can

It was a bad injury, with the way he went down, but we had to finish the action. There’s no way we were going to kick the ball out in that situation but you obviously feel sorry for him on an individual note. I know for head injuries, the game would stop but not in those situations

2020 07 08c Retrieve

[Premier League drinks break - is it fair?]]</b> I think he (Chris Wilder) does have a point. I think they were brought in with the right intention. So as a coach, you try and use it if you can, because any opportunity to speak to the players during the game can be pretty precious. So I don’t think it’s an uneven playing field in that sense - we all have the same periods to speak to our players. I think it’s been brought in place for this short part of the season and maybe they’ll see it through to the end of the season. But I can’t see it going any further than that, I don’t think anyone would want that

2020 07 10 Retrieve

[Billy Gilmour: Chelsea midfielder expected to miss up to four months following knee operation] Billy had an operation on his knee [Friday] morning, we estimate he will be out for between three and four months unfortunately. I am obviously very disappointed as we all are here and Billy is himself. I spoke with him yesterday at length. [We are] giving him support and being there for him. He is a tough boy and it will hit him hard, particularly as a younger player who has just made a breakthrough. He was doing so well but this is part of football, I tried to explain that to him. He should be very pleased with what he has done, the impact he has had this season. His attitude will get him back as quick as he can, his character is fantastic, particularly with his age. The personality he has shown to get himself into the first team, I’m very sure he will show the same character in doing everything right with his rehab. He has a close knit family who will be there for him. The small bonus is that hopefully it will cover a period that is off season.

[Jorginho has nothing to prove] I don’t think there’s a point to prove, there is no point to prove. He proves it in training and when he plays for me. I hope there isn’t a point to prove as such, I just want to see the usual Jorginho.

[When asked whether Jorginho would be a Chelsea player next season] I keep getting asked about next season, but it’s irrelevant to me; these final few games will define how we sit and look at this season and look forward to next

2020 07 10b Retrieve

[Frank Lampard happy with Jorginho and says he is an important member of his squad] I have selection issues in midfield. Good issues because I have N’Golo Kante, Billy Gilmour, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. And then in slightly more advanced areas I have Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and I have Ruben Loftus-Cheek now. There are always players who are maybe unhappy or have moments out of the team and that’s Jorginho at the moment. If a player is missing for one game or a few games, it doesn’t mean in any way that they are out of my thoughts going forward. There have been times when he has been pivotal for me this year certainly on and off the pitch. That doesn’t change and I am very happy with him

[Lampard: Abraham is a serious player] This has been a breakthrough season for him in effect as a Premier League striker at the top of the goalscoring charts, which he was for big parts of the season. He’s seen the really nice patch when the goals are flying in, and the tougher times and what it takes to be consistent at this level. That has been a great experience for him and he has done brilliantly well, let’s be really straight about that. Now it’s [taking it to] stage two at this level and that is people knowing about you, and what you do. He has to focus on himself, on training and how he can get better and improve. We know he can improve, but that’s for him because he is a serious player.

[Lampard enjoying watching Pulisic turn on the style] I continue to watch him and enjoy it. There was a lot of talk about Christian at the beginning of the season, and he came to us having not really had a break, and it was difficult for him, the physicality of the league. But he works so hard. I have to say with Christian he works so hard with our strength and conditioning coach Adam Burrows and spends extra hours in the gym. You see his physicality, and speed and balance now, and how he can hold people off when he moves with the ball and that’s down to his choice to work so hard in the gym and do those extra bits.

2020 07 11 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard furious as Chris Wilder works wonders to stun Chelsea] They were better than us, they were stronger than us physically and with the ball, so you lose the game. You feel and hear every noise [on the touchline] and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices. They are a good team and if you come here and perform below par this is what will happen. We matched them shape wise but were too slow and weren’t getting our wingers into the game. We tried to get control, which we did but weren’t threatening. At 2-0 down you make it difficult for yourselves. Disappointing. Mistakes. You analyse all season and review and move forward. We need to put that to bed quickly and fight for the top four. I learned a lot and I won’t forget that

I am not concerned about top four today. Today I am concerned with how we performed. All I do is sit and watch the games and consider what we want to do. We will see where we are when we approach Norwich. But we can’t approach Norwich or Manchester United or Wolves like we did today

2020 07 11b Retrieve

[David McGoldrick broke his Premier League duck with two goals as Sheffield United dented Champions League-chasing Chelsea with a 3-0 victory at Bramall Lane] They were better than us, physically, in the mind and with the ball. They were stronger than us. You feel and hear every noise and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices. They are a good team. If you come here and perform below par this is what will happen. You analyse all season and review and move forward. We need to put that to bed quickly and fight for the top four. I learned a lot and I won’t forget that. I am not concerned about top four today, today I am concerned with how we performed

2020 07 13 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard insists Chelsea were not pinning Champions League hopes on Man City ban] I was pretty neutral on it really. I don’t know much about the case. I just listened to the result - as everyone else did - this morning. I don’t see beyond the games. We’ve got a few games now and we want to win them, then see if it gets us Champions League football. I was never pinning my hopes on an extra team getting in - we worry about ourselves. If we win enough games now, we can get into the Champions League

We’ve brought a couple of players in, which I think shows a real positivity about where we want to go. Not being able to do business in the last two windows has meant that we haven’t been able to bring in, we haven’t been able to move players out. I think that’s as important as bringing players in sometimes - to keep freshening up the squad and keep the competitive nature. I know where I want to go with the squad, but that has to be a fluid conversation with the club. Of course economics will come into it, so we’ll cross that bridge when it comes

[Chelsea wary of ‘wounded’ Norwich] Having good home form is good for confidence and we have to carry on with that. With Norwich, we absolutely have to treat them with utmost respect. Wounded animal, whatever you want to call it … they have quality players, they play very well. In a lot of games I’ve seen them in this season, they could probably consider themselves unfortunate not to have got results. We’ll certainly be expecting a very tough game

2020 07 14 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard: Chelsea boss backs young squad for Premier League success] I think it’s part of the situation we’re in and the process we’re in here at the minute with the lot of younger players we have and players that are probably playing their first year in the Premier League, let alone playing for Champions League spots and what have you, which is a lot of pressure, is them adapting to that. They need to be helped by the players that have been there and done that and won World Cups or won Premier Leagues like some of the players have in our squad. In certain times, experience is overrated, in my opinion. It’s good to have it within the group but sometimes it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the answer and that gives you success. Sometimes it’s a bit of innocence, a bit of youthfulness and a bit of real desire without the feelings of past campaigns and successes and failures that can be something really positive within

[Chelsea face Norwich, live on Sky Sports, on Tuesday evening, before finishing the season with matches against champions Liverpool, and Wolves] There’s twists and turns every game. These three games are so important for all of us. I did expect Manchester United to be in the race. They can’t not be in the race with the quality of players they’ve had this season and the second half of the season with the incoming of Fernandes and his impact, and the way they’re playing they were always going to be in the race. Leicester are a fantastic team as well, so I think the race remains on. Wolves are there, Wolves are pushing. It is what it is, it’s who performs over these three games, it’s so tight.

In terms of defensively, there is a way that I want us to play and it’s not gung-ho, it’s not crazy. A lot of the goals are the balls that come into our box that maybe we don’t defend right at that moment and that’s something that has to improve and I feel I know the answers to it. Some of it is work and that’s something we will see and it’s part of the process we are in. I don’t like it, I hate conceding goals but we have to work harder on it. I don’t think any team in modern football are going to say ‘We’ve got that one defensive partnership’. You go back and talk about a John Terry-Ricardo Carvalho partnership, but in the modern day, I don’t think you will find too many clubs to name the two. It’s a difficult season and a demanding season, so I’m not saying I just want to pick two centre-backs because you need competition of probably four centre-backs within a squad and then you need them knocking on the door. You want to be able to say to players ‘You are not doing enough’ or the two that are playing keep deserving to play. I don’t think it’s about just a partnership. Can we be more settled if we improve? Yes, for sure. Will it be just two players who are going to be your centre backs? I don’t think that’s going to be the case.

2020 07 15 Retrieve

[Asked to assess the race to secure a Champions League spot] We take our three points, we focus on ourselves, we can sit down and watch the other teams this week and focus on our FA Cup semi-final at the weekend [against Manchester United], but there’s obviously still work to do. There’s a nervy feeling for understandable reasons, so I’m pleased. We went a bit slow for about 10 or 15 minutes in the second half. Then we began moving the ball again and there was a bit of personality in our game today, but we can improve

As we’ve seen in the last 48 hours at this stage of the season, results are critical. We didn’t concede any chances of big note for them to score a goal and we created quite a few ourselves. Maybe we could’ve been a bit better with our quality, but it was professional. I want more, but that can wait. Where we’re at as a team, and the position we’re in the table, three points is everything tonight. I live the game, so I wanted a bit more quality during the first half. I believe the group has more quality than it showed in those early stages and we needed to move the ball quicker. We have to be more mobile which we did here in our last game against Watford, but if we really want to move on longer-term it has to be better, but I don’t want to be too critical as three points at this stage isn’t easy.

[Lampard said of the match-winner] He’s always going to give you that desire for the team, and I know he had a fair few half chances but we have to use his attributes by getting the service in for him. It was a brilliant cross from Christian for his goal and he’s a big character for us, and he’s scoring important goals for us at the moment. Just before lockdown, he came in and was part of a couple of big results, and he’s due a lot of credit. He’s never given me a problem, he’s always trained brilliantly. When Tammy [Abraham] was playing well at the start of the season and staying regularly in the team, his professionalism was always good. In January, I told him I wanted him to stay and he was fantastic in how he handled that. The way he plays is important for us

2020 07 17 Retrieve

[Frank Lampard says Chelsea do not have an unfair FA Cup advantage over Manchester United] We have played Saturday, Tuesday this week, they played Monday, Thursday so we have both played two games this week as it stands. We’re in a period where we are playing very regularly and you have to work with the squad as it is but it isn’t about having an advantage or not. Sometimes it works in your favour to be playing regularly and ticking over so personally I don’t see it as an advantage.

We have Manchester United ahead of us and then City or Arsenal, so it is going to be tough. We’re in a semi-final, we know what is in front of us and at this point we are fighting on two fronts as well as the domestic front and a club like Chelsea we always want to win trophies. We have done it very well in the modern era and we have another opportunity and it is up to the players to make the best of it on Sunday but we’re up against a very good team in good form