Interview

Frank Lampard on Billy Gilmour's surgery and expecting a reaction

Frank Lampard has given an update on Billy Gilmour’s injury and explained why he needs to see a big reaction and big personality from his players against Norwich.

Midfielder Gilmour required surgery after damaging the meniscus in his knee during our 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. Lampard has confirmed the operation went well and he has no concerns about the teenager’s ability to recover quickly and fully.

‘With Billy it did go well,’ said Lampard. ‘He was in at the training ground on Sunday on his crutches. So it went as well as it possibly could and now he’s going to keep his feet up. His mum’s coming down to help him, probably cook and clean and all those things. I’m sure his mum and dad will be there to do that. Like I said when he got injured, I’m confident with Billy he’ll do everything right and let’s hope that he comes back as soon as possible.’

Our head coach was also discussing our next match against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge and the need for his team to put in a strong performance after the disappointment of defeat to Sheffield United over the weekend.

‘I do expect a reaction. I always felt that with the squad that we have, with the players that were on loan and are young, that there would be tough times this season. It’s important not to wallow in the pit of “Oh my God, we lost 3-0 to Sheffield United”. The important thing now is how we react and I expect that from the players tonight.

‘We have big personalities, there’ll be big personalities in the team tonight. They need to stand up, they need to show the quality that they’ve shown for big parts of the season. I trust that they will do and because we’re at the business end it’s very important that they do.’

As well as the big personalities in the squad, Lampard explained just how important it is for every player to step up and make their presence known on the pitch by being verbal and showing their determination to help the team win.

‘It’s huge,’ he added. ‘It cannot be overstated how big mentality is, how big attitude is. When you talk about players in your team it’s very easy and very natural to look at talent, but you’ve also got to look at character and attitude within the group, and I think it’s something we can improve.

‘The younger players can be more vocal, can grow as they go along. The older players can take on more responsibility of helping that as well. We’re in a good place, but it certainly can improve. Through moments like this and at a critical time like this, where there’s a lot on the line, it’s time for people to make that improvement.

‘I think it’s one of the easiest things to do on the pitch, to help your team-mate, to help yourself, to help the group by being vocal and driving people along, giving them information, talking, and we don’t have enough of it. We have to get better at it and that’s what I drill into the players.

‘I remember being taught as a young boy playing, about communicating with your team-mate and demanding the ball, supporting others. You can be as quiet as you want off the pitch, and we have some quiet players here who keep themselves to themselves, but they must come out of that on the pitch.

‘They must demand the ball on the pitch or the game can pass you by. They must have the character and spirit to be able to talk to the people around them. But sometimes it’s not that easy when players are generally quiet. It’s something we need to keep improving on.’

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