Analysis

Lampard looking for the right reaction after ‘below par’ performance

Frank Lampard knew there would be tough moments in the Premier League this season, and wants to see his team react to defeat against West Ham United in the right way in our next match against Aston Villa.

Despite being in control for most of the game against the Hammers, we suffered a 1-0 loss as the visitors made the most of their few chances and we struggled to break down a stubborn defence at the other end. However, Lampard knew that games like this would come around sooner or later, given the strength of teams throughout the Premier League.

‘Shocked isn’t the word,’ he said. ‘I think the Premier League is what it is, no game is easy or given to you. I’m disappointed with it rather than shocked.

‘Generally, collectively, we can handle that game better, and I think that is part of the process. I don’t think this will be the worst thing for us, as long as we react in the right way, because I keep hearing positive great stories about us over the last six or eight weeks. I always try to close my ears to them because I don’t like them because I understand what this league is and the fight that we’re in over the course of the season and there will be moments like this.

‘We were never going to come through a season as invincibles or anything, it just was not going to be the way, so when these moments come they’re little tests for all of us and we have to pass them.’

Frank didn’t feel the changes to the team after the midweek match in Valencia affected the result

'Tammy was enforced and he’s been going well, but at the same time I have to think about the squad and about the course of the season. When we have a very taxing game where we give everything physically, arrive back late, I have to think about how fresh we can be for the game ahead.

‘It also gives me a look at how we are generally, because we’re not going to get through the season with the same 11 players, so those are the things for me to look at. I think the team we had out there for sure had the quality to go out there and win this game. The fact we performed below par is the reason that we didn’t.

‘I do believe in the squad and I think we’ve shown some great stuff this season. I’ve not had to say many times we were below par. Hardly at all, even when we didn’t get what we want, but today was one of those days. So I don’t think this is any time for harsh reactions and judgements across individuals or the team. It’s time for a look at a bit character, to see how our reaction is for Aston Villa.’

He has identified the need for more creativity in the final third

'We were below par in many parts of our game, it’s not one, but we didn’t do enough in the final third. That’s been a little bit of the story in our last three games. They were different, with Man City we got in the final third a lot and didn’t do quite enough with our choice of pass or cross or shot, similar to Valencia.

‘Today we didn’t get in there quite as much, but we need to be more inventive and generally we have been this season. My gripe this season has been more that we’re not converting enough of the chances that we’re making. Today wasn’t quite that, we didn’t quite create enough.’

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