The arrival of a new signing at Cobham and the chance to join an illustrious list of Chelsea FA Cup winners were among the subjects discussed at Frank Lampard’s press conference today…
As eight-time winners of the FA Cup and semi-finalists as way back as 1911, Chelsea’s heritage in the sport’s oldest club competition is pretty impressive. Frank Lampard’s role in that success as a player was significant, lifting the trophy four times and scoring the winner against Everton in 2009.
Now, having swapped the midfield engine room for the Wembley dugout, Lampard is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Di Matteo in adding a managerial medal to his haul of playing successes.
‘We’ve got Manchester United in front of us and then Man City or Arsenal after that so there’s a lot of work to do to join the illustrious list,’ he said when asked about the prospect at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
‘Of course, we want to win a trophy. We’re Chelsea and we’re in a semi-final. The league is obviously huge as well but at this point we’re fighting on two fronts domestically and we have to give everything to try and do that.
‘A club like Chelsea will always want to win these kind of trophies and it’s what we’ve done very well in the modern era. It feels like we’re in a slightly different position this year because of the circumstances of this season but we have an opportunity and it’s up to us to make the best of it on Sunday.’
Lampard was asked about United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claim that the Blues have an unfair advantage due to this week’s fixture scheduling.
‘I don’t think we do. We’ve played on Saturday and Tuesday this week, they’ve played on Monday and Thursday so we’ve both played two games this week as it stands.
‘We’re in a period where we’re playing games all the time very regularly and it becomes play, recover, play again, recover and you work with the squad as it is. Sometimes it works in your favour to be playing regularly and ticking over.’
There was an update on how Ziyech has been settling in during his first week at Cobham.
'Hakim has been here for the week, trained a couple of days on his own and then he’s integrated a bit with the team so he’s settling in well. The lads have welcomed him and he’s forming those new relationships in the early stages.
‘More importantly for him, he’s been getting himself fit. It’s been nice for him to take a bit-part in training and then also get some physical work because he hasn’t trained or played for a quite a while.’
Lampard was also asked about the prospect of supporters returning to stadiums later this year after Boris Johnson suggested doors could be open again by October.
‘I’m very excited to welcome our fans back. It’s not just our fans - all of us in the country have been craving fans to be back at games for the atmosphere and for what it means to the game here, as long as it’s done in the right way with the right precautions.
‘From being within the game, I think football has made some really good steps in difficult conditions over the last few months and hopefully we keep making forward steps and we get our fans back in the stadiums.’