LAMPARD: AN IMPORTANT HALF
Frank Lampard experienced his first match action of the summer in Miami on Wednesday night, and reported no problems after the game.
The midfielder has been struggling with an Achilles problem throughout pre-season, forcing him to miss five games in Asia and America before being named in the line-up to meet Real Madrid last night, completing the first half before being replaced by Kevin De Bruyne at the break.
'I'm pleased to get 45 minutes in the bank, and the injury felt good which is the main thing,' the 35-year-old said. 'It was a tough 45 minutes but I need to play games, I've only been training for a few days and it's the games that get you really fit so it was nice to get half a game under my belt.
'The next steps for me are to keep training. The Achilles feels good, and I haven't trained at full pelt for a while so hopefully I can play a part on Saturday against Roma with a view to getting fully fit in the next week or so.'
On the night, we were beaten by the Spanish side, now coached by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. Lampard admits there is still work to be done for the squad after a difficult night at the Sun Life Stadium.
'For the whole game we weren't at our best, but that's typical of pre-seasons and it's been a pretty good one so far,' the midfielder said. 'We were up against a very good team let's not forget, and we didn't win, but sometimes you can learn more from games like that than ones you win comfortably. What's important is building for the start of the season.
'It's up to us to go away and look at what we need to do, there is no drama at all, we were beaten by a good team and I'm sure we can improve in certain areas which is normal.
'Difficult games are the whole point of coming to America. The Asia trips are good for us as a club to show ourselves to the fans, but as a match level, Inter, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Roma to come are the ones that get you ready for the season.'
On a personal note, the England man also enjoyed catching up with former colleagues, Ancelotti and his assistant Paul Clement, in Florida.
'I saw Clem and Carlo,' he smiled. 'Carlo is an absolute gent, I've got loads of time for him and he did a good job here and I'm sure he will do a good job there. Clem is a very nice guy, very willing to learn and came up through the ranks at Chelsea and has got hat he deserves with a great job at Real Madrid.'