Frank Lampard claimed there were plenty of positives to take from our first run-out of the summer as his squad shared out the minutes against Bohemians in Dublin.
The Blues have been back for less than a week before this first pre-season friendly and our new head coach admitted it was a test physically against a side in the middle of their domestic campaign.
‘It was a tough game for us,’ he admitted. ‘We haven’t been back for long and this was our first game after just a few days so there was a bit of pressure on the lads to work today. We’ve been working them very hard and we did the same this morning as well. I want to stretch them because that’s what pre-season is all about.
‘We wanted to win obviously because you always do but it’s not about that at this point – it’s about individuals getting fit and pushing themselves to the limit. We were pleased with the outcome and I thought some of the performances, particularly from some of the young lads, were really good.’
Fitness remains the foremost thought in everyone’s minds so early in pre-season and Lampard has been particularly pleased with how his new players have adapted to his coaching in these early days. He claimed displaying physical intensity would be a key component of his Chelsea side and expressed his pleasure at how the players were taking this on board.
‘We’ve been really happy with them,’ he said. ‘I have a way of working that can be taxing on the players and we wanted to get straight into it. We have to because we want fitness and intensity in our game. I’m happy not just with how they’ve practically done things but with their attitude in taking everything on.’
After his first game in charge, the boss paid tribute to the supporters who came down to Dalymount Park to watch the occasion.
‘I’ve enjoyed it,’ he said of his debut in the dugout. ‘We have great support over here and we’ve seen that at the hotel every day with the fans coming to see us. We’ve always had big support here so thanks to them for coming out to see us play.’
The squad will now return to their Dublin base to continue pre-season work before taking on St Patrick’s Athletic on Saturday afternoon. Lampard revealed that the likes of David Luiz, Olivier Giroud, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic could feature in that game after returning as part of the second group.
‘Other than the injured boys and Christian Pulisic, we’ve been pretty much together and integrated for the past couple of days and we’ll integrate more in the coming days,’ he added. ‘You’ll see some of them at the weekend and then we’ll start getting there in terms of putting a squad together.’