Interview

Mateo Kovacic on learning from Lampard and a warm welcome in Japan

Mateo Kovacic believes the Chelsea players will all learn and improve under Frank Lampard and has given a little insight into what pre-season under the Blues head coach is like.

The Croatian, who returned to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid this summer on a permanent deal, has been impressed with the sessions put on by Lampard and his coaching staff and says he’s hoping to make the boss and the club proud this season for the faith shown in him.

‘It’s amazing to have such a club legend as our coach and we are really enjoying pre-season so far,’ the midfielder explained.

‘It’s been tough, training is quite intense, but the work has been good. Myself and the other players are enjoying the work though because although the sessions are intense and tough like I said, we also see a lot of the ball which is what we like.

‘It’s nice working under the head coach and we are all looking forward to learning from him and making him and the club proud.’

Kovacic is part of the Chelsea squad to have touched down in Japan this morning, with pre-season games against Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona to come during our time in the Far East.

After arriving in Yokohama, the midfielder joined head coach Frank Lampard and the manager and captain of Kawasaki Frontale to preview Friday’s game in front of a packed-out press conference.

While still technically a pre-season game, Mateo is taking nothing for granted on Friday and believes the clash with Frontale will be exactly the sort of challenge we need as the preparations step up ahead of the new Premier League season.

‘My manager said similar before me, we are looking forward to a good game on Friday,’ added Kovacic. ‘It is a pleasure to be here, we are pleased to be here in Japan and are looking forward to a good pre-season game.

‘The manager said quite a lot and as I said before, its nice to play here in Japan in front of our fans, it’s going to be good to play against a great team who won their league last season. We are used to this type of opposition.

‘We play against very good teams in the Premier League and Champions League each week, so we need a strong test.

'It’s normal for us to play a challenging match against a strong team and it will help us prepare well for the season ahead.’

Click here for news on how you can watch all of Chelsea's pre-season games in Japan via this website or our official app.

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