Frank Lampard was full of praise for his young Blues after they successfully adapted to a change in formation to inflict a first home defeat on Wolves since 2 January.
The boss of course had special words for hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham as well as Fikayo Tomori, who opened the scoring in spectacular fashion in our 5-2 win at Molineux. Lampard also singled the experienced players out, such as Willian, for helping nurture our young stars. It was a result and performance that left him very happy indeed.
‘It’s a tough place to come,’ said Lampard. ‘They haven’t lost here for a long time. They get good results against the top six teams because they defend so well and are dangerous on the counter-attack.
‘We changed the system. The players took that on board really well. I’m delighted to come here and score five goals because not many teams do that.’
Lampard explained why he had decided to go with three central defenders and wing-backs
‘For ourselves, with Wolves in account. They play three at the back and they play it very well. There are two points really. One is we’ve conceded more than we’d have liked to. We had Toni back fit and to have three centre-halves gives you a bit more security on face value.
‘And also I want us to be adaptable in an attacking sense. What it allowed us to do today is get Mason and Willian in really nice positions, inside wingers, behind Tammy. They caused Wolves exactly the problems we wanted to cause them. It was good to see the work we had done on it come off.’
Lampard revealed why the returning Toni Rudiger was withdrawn at half-time
‘He’s had a groin issue which he bothered when he ran off the pitch near me. He slipped on to the metal which made him slide and adjust himself.
‘Hopefully it’s not too bad. It was more of a precaution because he felt a bit of pain, so we’ll assess it over the next couple of days.
‘It’s a quick turnaround [for Tuesday] but hopefully [he’ll be alright].’
Lampard said Abraham will force his way into England reckoning if he keeps up his current form
‘The three different types of goals he scored were exactly what you want from Tammy: a messy one, a good header and then a fantastic feet and finish goal.
‘He has to sustain it. He has to be hungry which I know he is. He can never rest on his laurels because there is more work to be done.
‘I have got confidence in him, I am prepared to give him chances, but even more now be tougher on him because he has shown what he can do. The moment he wants to come off that and think goals will drop at his feet will be the moment he is rested.
‘But I’m happy because I see him every day and he wants to play every day and score every day. That’s something a bit special. You don’t see that in all young players.’
Tomori scored the first and stepped out of defence to initiate our second goal
‘I know he’s comfortable doing that from having him last year. I didn’t know he could stick it in the top corner. That was a surprise I am very happy with!
‘At the start of last season he was already a good young player, but the confidence in him and the personality on the pitch is a great story from seeing it first-hand.
‘I know he can step in because he has pace, he has recovery pace, he defended really well as well. I’m delighted for what today can hopefully do for him.
‘It’s the same for all of them. If they keep playing with the same attitude and training every day like they have trained as young players then they are going to have fantastic careers, all of them. But they must sustain that.
‘They should aspire and feel the opportunity is there if they deserve it, and they should see their team-mates doing really well and want to get in there.
‘They are there because they deserve it. It’s important we also respect the experienced players have played a huge part. Wilian was fantastic today, absolutely brilliant.
‘If we are going to be successful this season we can’t rely on the young boys, although at the minute they are doing a good job!’
The final word from Lampard went to our Academy who are continuing to see their hard work reap rewards
‘They’re delighted. They’ve worked for years. They bring players through with a great attitude and desire.
‘We had a couple of pints in the week with Neil Bath (head of youth development) and the Academy staff because I think it’s important the club is joined up. It doesn’t mean young players are going to start every week, but there must be a connection. When they work for hours and hours with these young players, and invest time, it’s nice for them to see.
‘When I sit here and Tammy’s scoring and it makes me happy, we should also praise Neil Bath, Jim Fraser (assistant head of youth development) and all the Academy staff.’