Analysis

Lampard explains what’s needed in the build-up to West Ham

For the first time since the opening week of the season, Frank Lampard and his squad have six days to prepare for a fixture, West Ham’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Since the gap between the Brighton and Liverpool matches that kickstarted the 2020/21 campaign, the Blues have been in action every three or four days, save for the international breaks when the vast majority of our squad were away with their countries anyway. 

So the chance for some proper recovery, especially after consecutive defeats, is most welcome according to Lampard. 

‘They can have a little bit of a rest, hopefully not a happy rest because when you lose games you’re not happy, but physically the players need a bit of a break going into another really busy period,’ the boss said. 

‘We need to reflect on the two games we have lost points in, which is disappointing, but also know this is a long season. We have to bounce back; the players have to bounce back. 

‘We’re a young group, some players are new to this league, they need to wake up to what this is about right now, because games like the last two prove it.’

Chelsea could have moved into first place in the Premier League with victory at Molineux, albeit for a brief period ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Tottenham tonight. 

Instead, if results go against us in the next few days, we could find ourselves in the bottom half of the table when West Ham make the journey across London on Monday night, summing up what has already been a topsy-turvy top-flight season. 

‘I don’t like to look so much at the table when we are winning and on a long unbeaten run, and the same now,’ stated Lampard. 

‘We have to worry about ourselves, irrespective of who is playing each other elsewhere. It’s really tight. If we had won, we would have gone level on points at the top. If you lose all of a sudden you feel like you might drop out of the top four, five, six, whatever it is. 

‘The longer game is for us to concentrate on, but we must think short term and the players must learn lessons because the games are coming thick and fast over Christmas. 

‘I know what we can do, and I know consistency is another matter. We had been on a long unbeaten run, great, but to really get to where we want to be it has to be longer than that, or if you have a blip you have to bounce back from that.’

MORE FROM CHELSEA