LAMPARD: TURNING THE CORNER
After helping his team to a 3-0 win against Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Frank Lampard hopes the result can act as a platform to build on for the remainder of the season.
Lampard, who was restored to the starting line-up by Andre Villas-Boas having been a substitute for the previous two matches, played a starring role against Owen Coyle's side, teeing up Didier Drogba for our second goal after David Luiz had given us the lead, before netting the third himself to seal the points and cap an impressive display.
It was our first win in six games, and our first in the Barclays Premier League since the 1-0 victory over Sunderland on 14 January, and with the race to finish in the top four gathering momentum on a weekly basis, Lampard insists now is the time for our football to do the talking.
'I'm more than pleased with the result, the performance was much more upbeat and sharper in the second half than it was in the first,' he said. 'We played with a bit more pace and created some chances. The result was very due, we came out for the second half and you could see it coming and we won the game very comfortably in the end.
'It's been a tough week for everybody here, we went away and had a tough game in Napoli, we obviously didn't get the result we wanted, but today was about bouncing back. There have been a lot of times this season when we've said we need to turn the corner, but we need to move on now.
'Today needs to be a new start, it can't be a false dawn. We've got some tough games coming up and our league form is imperative because a club like Chelsea has to stay in the top four.'
Lampard's goal, a sweetly struck volley from Juan Mata's cross, was his 10th league goal of the season, and ensured he became the first player in Barclays Premier League history to reach double figures in nine consecutive seasons, a truly remarkable achievement made all the more impressive given the fact he plays in midfield. He also went clear of Jimmy Greaves as our all-time third highest league goalscorer with 125.
The home supporters sung his name regularly throughout the game, a gesture that left the stand-in skipper overcome with emotion.
'The way the fans were with me today was lump-in-the-throat stuff, especially when they sing your name like that,' he admitted. 'When I play, I know I can contribute, but the main importance is Chelsea.
'It's been a tough old season but the fans have stuck with us brilliantly, individuals like myself, Fernando when he comes on and John Terry through stuff as well, I think the fans have been through a lot in the old days and they're keen to stick by their players and I want to thank them for that.
'The only way we can push on from now and secure Champions League football for next year and move through in the FA Cup and this season's Champions League is to be positive. The club is the most important thing, it's not about any individuals. We can now talk about a good result and look forward to next week.'
'We'd love to sneak up in the top three but we're at that stage where we need to start winning games. We need to get our form back and we know that. We know that once we start winning we can go on a really strong run of wins but we have to do it. This game was a sign of our intentions because we played with a lot more positive energy and ability on the ball.'