Frank Lampard on his striking options, retirement of former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, and why Norwich do it the right way…
The statistics show it is nearly nine months since Norwich last lost a home league game, and the man to inflict that defeat was Frank Lampard during his Derby tenure. The 4-3 thriller in late 2018 had the lot, including goals for Chelsea loan pair Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, floodlight failure that paused a manic second half with the Canaries 3-2 up, and then two very late Derby strikes that sealed an improbable away win.
In the end it was the Canaries who won promotion from England’s second tier, as champions, and their appetite for goals has shown no sign of waning since joining the elite. Teemu Pukki has scored four times already, and Lampard, asked about Daniel Farke’s side at his press conference today, explained why they will pose us a threat tomorrow.
‘They have their style and they stick to it,’ said the boss.
‘That’s the right way. They came up playing really good football. They’re a very good team with a very good manager. They have got the players and the belief in the system.
‘In terms of their recruitment as a club they’re a great act to follow for Championship teams. I have been impressed to see them carry on the Premier League with that way.
‘We go to Norwich wanting to win the game but also very respectful of a team that were on the wrong side of a defeat that wasn’t the story of the game against Liverpool, and played very well against Newcastle.
‘I know them very well from the Championship last year, which is helpful in preparation but also makes me aware of the dangers.’
Lampard was at our PL2 game on Monday when Michy Batshuayi scored twice
‘It was a good performance in terms of Michy got the fitness work he needed out of the game. He scored two good goals, very good finishes, and he worked hard. That’s what the game was there for for him. We need Michy and the competition up front.
‘In terms of the performance of the team it was really good all round. There were some outstanding performances from some of the young players. That’s really good to see. Hopefully if they can continue like that they can train with us, and use people like Mason and Tammy and Tomori as examples of what can happen.’
Lampard was asked to comment on Mount’s start to the season
‘It’s not easy to be thrown into the Premier League and the attention that comes with it. He has handled it brilliantly. In terms of the character to deal with that he’s right up there. He’s got the hunger, the desire and also the humility.
‘He will have to keep dealing with it if he performs like he has done at the start of the season, then he is going to be a big player for us and with that comes a lot of attention.’
On his strikers, Lampard explained what can be done to improve their finishing
‘We work hard on the training ground as a team to create, and with all the attacking players to finish. I used to love practising my finishing in training. It’s what I felt made me lucky at the weekend, or gave me the edge in front of goal.
‘What I have got is great attitude in the three strikers in particular. Sometimes moments or periods come when things don’t quite go for you. If Tammy’s goal goes in off the post at Old Trafford it’s a different story in that game and for him, but you can’t get too down about that. It’s about positivity, working hard and the belief it will come. And I believe it will come. We are talking about quality players here.’
Lampard was asked if anybody else would be leaving before the European transfer window closes
‘Nothing is clear at the moment. I am happy with the squad. As it stands, no. We need players, we can’t bring players in so we have to be careful with the squad and I am very pleased with where it is.’
Finally, Lampard spoke about his former team-mate Fernando Torres, who has played the last game of his career
‘A fantastic career, and also a really good man, a good friend. We are still in touch. He was in touch when I hung my boots up and I did the same for him because there’s respect there and he was very good in the dressing room.
‘He had some tough times here but he had some big moments too, and in his career he had huge moments.
‘A huge congratulations on his career and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do now.’