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Frank Lampard explains his half-time changes, praises Ross Barkley’s impact and reports on injured duo

It was a relieved Frank Lampard who spoke in the aftermath of our narrow FA Cup quarter-final victory at Leicester City, with Ross Barkley having come off the bench to fire in the only goal of the game at the King Power Stadium.

The boss made three changes at half-time after a below-par performance from his side, though he admitted the number and nature of his substitutions could easily have differed.

‘We spoke at half-time and the first half was not what we are used to in terms of performance,’ said Lampard.

‘We lacked intensity. I could have made more, or even different subs for more urgency. It was a lethargic performance from us.

‘The second half, there were glimpses of it [our good play] and I am delighted that we came through the tie. If we turn up to other games like we did today though, then no chance. We were lucky today.’

Lampard was pleased with the impact made by the changes and explained his thinking behind them.

‘The individuals that came on had nice impacts, and that’s happened in a few games now. If we didn't have the extra substitutions, then I wouldn't have made three at half-time. It is to limit injury. We can look at the fact we've had two big games in a week. The fact we turned it around means I can give the lads credit.

‘I could have made different changes. In Mason Mount's situation, he’s played two games in a week at a really high intensity and put a lot in against City on Thursday. Reece James has not played in a long time, Billy [Gilmour] the same.

‘They are going to be top players for this club and will go on to have really top careers in football. They all train well, they have great work ethics but it was just the circumstances today.’
 

Barkley scored his third FA Cup goal of the season and continued his positive form either side of the lockdown.

‘He’s a great lad, he wants to be the best he can be. Before lockdown he put in some great performances and was really good for us. He’s been brilliant in training and his attitude has been spot-on since the minute we came back.

‘He has made an impact in every game. He can score goals, he can shoot with both feet and he gets into the box. I’ve got a lot of time for Ross and he’s a big player for us - you can see that from what he did today.’
 

Christian Pulisic came off with a knock, while Andreas Christensen missed out altogether.

‘Christian felt some tightness in his calf during the second drinks break so we took him off straightaway. We will see the extent of that over the next couple of days but hopefully that won’t be anything serious.

‘With Andreas, he had a small problem near his hip. He tried to train yesterday but didn’t feel comfortable, so we pulled him out of the squad.’

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