The boss discussed his striker's desire to contribute and continue improving in the aftermath of our weekend draw, as well as pinpointing areas for the team overall to develop...
Frank Lampard has praised Tammy Abraham’s willingness to learn and improve after watching his number nine bag a Premier League brace for the second weekend running, though he claimed there are still issues for him and the players to resolve after his side conceded late to draw 2-2 with Sheffield United.
Abraham’s double had given the Blues a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge but Lampard admitted his players failed to read the half-time warning signs and were swiftly punished by the Blades in the second period.
‘I wasn’t overly happy with the first half because I felt they had gifted us two goals,’ said Lampard.
‘Our performance had been just okay so we were in a really dangerous position and I was quite clear about that with the players at half-time. The warning signs were there but we didn’t react to that on the pitch.
‘We needed to move the ball quicker because we were taking too much time in possession. We had worked a lot on Sheffield United and their style of play, how we could move the ball to cause them problems but we didn’t do it as I wanted us to do it. That was the contributing factor to me feeling we were a bit slow in possession and that gave them opportunities.’
Lampard acknowledged the need for patience as he seeks to alter aspects of our play in these early weeks in the dugout, though he also knows that lessons must be learned swiftly. As well as needing to move the ball more quickly, a returning post-match discussion point was our game management and the boss believes this is a key attribute we must work on.
‘I have to be patient because I’m asking for different things in the way we play and our movement of the ball,’ he explained.
‘There have been good signs in all our games this season but probably not enough as far as I’m concerned. We’re obviously having a few issues in terms of managing games but that’s on all of us and we need to resolve those issues.’
The biggest positive at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon was the performance of Abraham, with the 21-year-old not only taking his goals tally for the campaign to four but also contributing with an impressive striker’s display, whether running cleverly in behind or dropping deeper to link up play.
‘I’m delighted with Tammy,’ claimed Lampard. ‘He has a really great attitude in training, a desire to score goals and his all-round game was really good as well. Myself and the staff are working closely with him on little bits of his game where I think he can be even better and he’s been very receptive to that.’
Club football will now be placed on pause for the first international break of 2019/20, with many of our players heading off to represent their national teams over the coming 10 days.
While that restricts time on the training pitch for Lampard, it does provide a welcome respite for those currently in the treatment room to accelerate their returns and the likes of Toni Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Pedro could all be in contention for our Premier League trip to Wolves on Saturday 14 September.
‘We obviously lose a lot of players now so the only benefit will be some work for those who have been injured and are searching for fitness still,’ Lampard added.
‘This two-week period is important, particularly for someone like Kante to have a period of recuperation from his injury, so that is a plus for us.’