As he reflected on his side’s progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup, Frank Lampard gave credit to a striker in the goals and a young midfielder’s impact off the bench, but a familiar criticism remained.
A dominant first-half performance against Championship Hull yielded just a solitary goal, an early Michy Batshuayi effort Lampard particularly enjoyed. It was a tighter contest after the break as the Tigers fought back, and even though Fikayo Tomori doubled our lead, a deflected set-piece made it another nervy finish in a game involving Chelsea.
Happily, there was no late goal like in our past two matches, so Lampard spoke after an away victory for the first time this month…
‘You don’t expect it to be easy when you come here,’ the boss said. ‘We made it harder than we had to by not capitalising on Hull not being properly at it in the first half.
‘We had chances to score, and when we had those chances and played some nice passages, we got sloppy. At half-time I wasn’t delighted and then Hull really gave us a tough game in the second half.
‘If you’re not going to take those chances when you can, then it can remain tough until the 94th minute, which it did.
‘Whilst I’m not delighted with the performance, which is partly because of the last couple of games, I also understand the toughness of these games. I’ve played in them and sometimes sneaked through when we didn’t deserve to, or it was a real mess and we got through. They’re not easy games and I respect what Hull did to us today.’
Lampard commented on our continued inefficiency in front of goal
‘I’m looking at the bigger picture and how we can improve, and it’s a constant message at the moment.
‘Recently we are having a lot of shots, good, good chances we’re not taking. It’s a frustrating period for us. It defines games. A second goal in the first half might take the sting out of them in the second half more than one does.
‘Then we have to remain very secure if that’s going to be the case, if we’re only going to score one or two goals in the game. We gave them too many opportunities with little moments. It’s part of the process.’
Batshuayi opened the scoring to continue his good record in domestic cup games
‘I’m pleased. As a goalscorer, a striker, you want him to score goals. It helps his confidence. It can’t be that we just rely on Tammy. I want Michy firing and scoring goals like he did today, and when he trains he has to stay at that level.
‘He trains as I want him to train. That’s not easy when you’re not playing as much as you want to. You have to go the extra mile to show you deserve to play. When you get those opportunities you have to show them.
‘Today I can say I’m happy with Michy. It’s not just his goal - which was slightly fortunate and I like that - I just want him to keep delivering in training and when the opportunities come take them. Everyone judges strikers on goals and Michy has that in him. I want to see it more.’
Lampard brought youngsters Billy Gilmour and Tariq Lamptey off the bench
‘It’s because I trust them. I thought Billy Gilmour was the best player on the pitch for the period of time he was on the pitch. He came in, he passed it, he moved it, he played the simple pass through the lines, he had little bits of contact. I trust him to come on and do the job.'