Frank Lampard says N’Golo Kante is in with a chance of returning to the team for Sunday’s decisive fixture at home to Wolves.
A Champions League berth is up for grabs and the boss previewed our final league game at his customary Friday press conference, discussing in detail what his strategy will be with the knowledge his Blues side just need a point to guarantee a top-four finish.
Lampard also spoke about how he and his staff are tackling our defensive issues, and the job done by Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves in recent years, but first he addressed the prospects of N’Golo Kante returning to action for the first time since the Watford win.
‘There is a possibility he will feature,’ reported Lampard.
‘He has trained for the first time towards a match pace this morning, so it’s a decision I’ll have to make, talking with him and the medical team, to see if he’s ready to start.’
Lampard insisted Chelsea won’t be playing for a draw
‘No, we will approach the game to win it. There is no other way to approach a game of football. We will do that, prepare right, respect our opponent. They are very good, we have seen that all season, we are aware of the situation but we will try to win.
‘The goal was to get in the top four and improve this squad and try and develop and be as good as we can be. Now we have the opportunity of top four and it’s a huge game. I’ll approach it as I see right in terms of what I say to the players and how we set up on the day.
‘I know how strongly I feel about this weekend and how up for it I am. I will try and convey that to the players, and the rest is down to them on the pitch. I have a real sense the players understand the position we’re in. I have seen that in our last two performances, and I expect more of the same on Sunday.’
Lampard was asked if his position as a midfielder makes it harder to set up a defence
‘If you want to become a top coach, you have to be try and be very aware of all parts of the pitch. Some of the greatest coaches will come from different positions on the pitch. It’s more how aware you are of how you want your team to be collectively.
‘We have a coaching staff here who work very hard all the time to try and be as defensively good as we can be. There are mitigating circumstances around that. We have conceded too many goals, I’m aware of that. I know a lot of the reasons why, and we need to keep working to get that down.’
Wolves visit knowing a victory for them will secure sixth place and Europa League football again next season
‘The manager has done an incredible job. They are well drilled and have great talent, and they have gone on to bigger and better things since getting promoted from the Championship. They were up with an idea over a few years, they have added players at the right time, the manager comes across with a great sense of humility and work ethic and talent, so it’s a great story for them, and why it will be such a hard game.’