It was a good night for Christian Pulisic confirmed Frank Lampard after the American scored two goals and won the penalty that led to another in a 5-3 away win in Austria.
His contribution plus Pedro’s incredible goal, not to mention the two assists from Ross Barkley, had certainly caught the eye in Salzburg and plenty of the performance had impressed the head coach too.
‘He [Pulisic] showed his quality and I love the nature of his goals where he has an intention to run behind the line and not come short,’ said Lampard, ‘and the finishing was good.
‘It is what he is going to have to do because he is going to play in the Premier League and the Champions League, this is the top end. A winger has to have the desire not just to be tidy but to be getting in behind people and then with his quality he can be a really big player for us.
‘He is a big signing for us with big potential but the big question is he has to adapt to a different league, but I have seen already a really good attitude and a willingness to listen to information. He is 20 years of age so we have to remember he is young. I am happy to work with him, I want him to improve him.’
Widening his view to the game overall, Lampard thought the fact there were goals at both ends told the story.
‘Some really good play from us, some good goals, good combinations,’ he listed. ‘Great attacking of the line from front men and wingers, which is a huge thing for me, and obviously conceding some goals with some sloppy moments from us.
‘Big positives in the way we played, this was a tough match for us against a team that is in-season and play with a high press. They tested us on the ball, we succeed at times and not at other times but I am pleased generally. Conceding in pre-season is something you don’t want to do but it is not the worst as it gives you things to address before the business starts.’
Our new head coach was able to speak directly to Roman Abramovich, as the owner was among the spectators at the game.
‘It was good to see him. I obviously know him from my playing days. I have a very close relationship with Marina [Granovskaia] on a club level but I knew I was going to speak with the owner in pre-season and I have spoken to him this evening. He was happy with the excitement of the game I think.’
Lampard said he is at the stage now where he is and must be moving close to knowing his team for the first Premier League game, but no doors are closed yet. He also explained why midfielders Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko did not make the trip to Austria.
‘We have a squad with a lot of players and getting to this point now, I can’t bring everyone and give everyone 90 minutes so there are players who have stayed back to train rather than travel and not play. So I would not read too much into it in one game, we are a work in progress with this squad.’