Interview

Lampard pleased for players new and old

Frank Lampard was delighted for Kai Havertz after his hat-trick, as well as Thiago Silva’s debut and the impact of strikers Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud.

On a night full of positives at Stamford Bridge, Kai Havertz’s first three Chelsea goals arrived together along with strikes from Tammy Abraham, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud to book our place in the Carabao Cup fourth round with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Barnsley.

After the game, Lampard discussed his satisfaction at seeing his targets hit with a victory, improved performance and good work for those player still searching for full fitness.

‘It was a very good night,’ he said. ‘I admitted before the game I was treating it like a bit of a training exercise. It wasn’t disrespect to the game, because I knew it would be a tough game and we want to win this competition, but the place we’re in now made it into how good could we be off the ball, because last year we were fantastic for big parts of the season at winning the ball back using high pressure.

‘We haven’t done that yet this season because of fitness and because of the new shape of the team. Today we started to really see elements of that back in our game.

'And then I had a big concern about how we were on the ball because again we haven’t been as smooth as we can be in the first two games for different reasons. We saw elements of that in the game.

'And then all the individuals and the minutes and the fitness and the combinations within the team were good, so it was a very positive night.’

Havertz put in a first-class performance and Lampard couldn’t be happier for him...

‘I’m delighted with Kai, it was everything I wanted the night to be for him. I said it at the last two games, Kai has had no sort of pre-season and obviously signing for the club I think at the same time took a few days out of him as well.

‘So tonight was a great exercise for him, another game to see how we want to work off the ball, he could be part of that, he makes the recovery tackle for Ross’ goal, but then to also just have some freedom on the ball and roaming central areas behind Tammy. The combinations he had with Tammy, the way he grew into the game, got confidence, gets his three goals. I’m very happy for Kai, the first of many for him.’

He saw plenty to be excited about in Thiago Silva’s debut...

‘It’s exciting for us because he’s had just over a week’s training so it was a perfect 60 minutes from him for me. He showed the qualities he has. Of course he’ll get fitter and better, but I think he also gave us something tonight in the dressing room and on the pitch, in the way he commands authority.

‘He can’t speak the language but that’s not even a problem because his presence and the way he commands people around him is already showing to me in training and in that game tonight. So I’m very, very pleased with Thiago. It’s kind of what I expected from a player of his level but very refreshing to have here at the club.’

Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud both scored, with Timo Werner staying on the bench, showing the options available to Lampard in attack...

‘It’s a good problem, I’m delighted for both strikers today. Tammy’s work rate and quality, his goal and his assists were brilliant. He hasn’t had too many games in this period, pre-season-wise, so it’s good for him to get those minutes under his belt.

‘Oli, similar in terms of impact when he came one. He could have had a couple of assists and goals. And then having Timo gives me options with different attributes to each other. All competitive in a good way but different options, for sure.’

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