Frank Lampard won’t be looking to the past for inspiration ahead of tonight’s match against Bayern Munich.
The Blues have a 3-0 deficit to try and overturn in the second leg of our elongated Champions League last-16 tie. With the German champions having won each of their 11 games since the restart, the odds are stacked against Chelsea, but if the Champions League has taught us anything over the years it’s that miracles can happen.
Lampard realises there is more to a famous comeback than simply precedent, and he will be instructing his group to simply focus on what they can bring to the table in the 90 minutes.
‘Historical turnarounds in football don’t matter,’ said the boss.
‘It’s about what the players do on the day. I will try and be very positive with them and try and inspire them to do something special, but we have to work first and foremost and approach the game in the right way.
‘All guns blazing or keep it tight, that’s not exactly the conversation. We have to get our game right for the game as a whole. We’ll have to respect their ability on the ball and defend very well. We didn’t defend well enough at Stamford Bridge which is why we conceded three goals in a short space of time.
‘We have to trust if we move the ball well and play confidently we can cause most teams problems. We will need to get our game absolutely spot on to compete and try and turn this around.’
The Allianz Arena in Munich was of course the location of Lampard’s finest Chelsea hour, when he captained us to Champions League glory in May 2012. That European campaign included remarkable comebacks against Napoli and Barcelona, too, but the boss does not know if those experiences of his can help benefit the current crop of Blues.
‘This is a new generation of players, a new era of players. All I got last week was ‘how great will it be if they win a cup final?’ The experience of losing a cup final will be a big part of the young players’ careers. Tomorrow is a big experience for them, no matter what: a fantastic stadium, a fantastic team, a challenge we can try and overturn a result.
‘If I was to use short stories from my career throughout the season the players would be very bored! I will speak to the players and make them aware of the opportunity they have here: to show they want to turn this game around, to act like they want to turn this game around, and to believe they can turn the game around.
‘That’s very clear and it mustn’t be short on them. It’s been a long season, successful in many ways, and now we have a huge challenge in a one-off game to try and do something special. I understand the difficulties, but all I want to see is a performance and attitude from the team that attempts to do something special.
‘It will be very difficult, I don’t have to pretend with the players, I just need to see them perform, and I believe they will.’