CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: LAMPARD LOOKS FORWARD
After making his long-awaited return from injury as a second-half substitute against Sunderland at the weekend, Frank Lampard is now focusing on staying fully fit ahead of a busy schedule.
The Blues midfielder replaced Eden Hazard during the 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light, having not featured since limping off with a calf problem in our away defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk, and having come through his cameo appearance unscathed, he is feeling positive.
'I felt fine, I had to be careful this time because of the recurrence I had last time, even though I've been desperate to get back,' he told Chelsea TV. 'I've been working hard in the gym to make sure it has a strong base, so touch wood I'm all good with it.
'I just want to stay fit and be able to contribute and help the team with all the games we have coming up.
'For all the work you do in training to prepare yourself, it's nice to come on and get into attacking positions. One of the strengths of my game is getting further forward, so I hope to have that back pretty quickly.'
Our recent poor run of form, which saw us eliminated at the group stages of the Champions League for the first time, has also allowed the two Manchester clubs to open up a lead at the top of the league table.
Lampard, having won the Premier League title on three occasions, believes it's far from over, but acknowledged we have given ourselves a mountain to climb.
'It's certainly not over, but pre-Christmas we've given ourselves a really tough task, which is what we did last year,' he explained.
'We fell away and never recovered. We need an instant reaction following the Sunderland game, we need to go on and on, and it's important that when we get back from Japan, and then we've faced Leeds, we need to re-focus and get as many points as we can.'
Now back involved, Lampard will hope to be in the starting line-up when Rafael Benitez names his side to take on Monterrey in Thursday's FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohoma.
The 33-year-old looked sharp in the players' first training session yesterday afternoon, and he insisted that the whole squad are taking the competition extremely seriously.
'The hard work was winning the Champions League, which was a great thing for the club, but now we have more hard work to do,' he said.
'In the Super Cup, we failed on the day, which was very disappointing, so we need to approach these two games with the right attitude, to play them at our best and win the trophy.
'None of us have it on our CV, so as a club, and individually, it's a big deal.'