One of the obstacles Frank Lampard’s Blues have regularly faced this season is a deep block of defenders, and it’s not unreasonable to expect the same when Watford visit tonight.
We have often looked at our best this season against teams who aren’t afraid to get men forward, and victories against Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester, Wolves, Arsenal and Tottenham prove we are capable of mixing it with the best.
But one of the reasons we haven’t already locked down a top-four spot is because of inconsistencies against sides lower down the table. The West Ham midweek defeat was a case in point, and Lampard is determined to avoid a similar outcome when the Hornets, also fighting relegation, visit Stamford Bridge.
‘They have to bounce back and that is a mindset thing,’ Lampard said.
‘We had been playing well, we were on a good run, and then we lose a game where we made mistakes to lose the game.
‘We’ve had some issues this season with teams that sit deep against us and try to counter-attack and some teams that are maybe physical and rely on set-pieces. We have to just be more astute on the pitch to that. The players know that so it’s going to be what we deliver on the pitch.
‘I just think, against West Ham, the tempo was slightly slow, slower than what it needed to be to break them down better and then we switched off to make mistakes. And that is mentality, that is focus and concentration and you work on that and it comes over time as well.
‘I think the players are very aware of it, it has to be a day-to-day thing as well, for me, mentality,’ added the boss.
‘It’s how you train, how you focus, how you sit in meetings, how you think about the next game, how you think about your opponent. If we get that right with the players we’ve got then I’m confident we’ll finish the season well.’