Frank Lampard believes he, his staff and players have learnt a lot over the past 12 months and, as he looks back on 2020, reflects with pride on the achievement of securing Champions League football for the club.
Following a disrupted end to the campaign and Project Restart, the Blues guaranteed a top-four finish on the final day of the 2019/20 season. Since then, it’s been a case of trying to integrate new signings and compete at the top-end of the table amid an unpredictable first few months of the new term.
‘It’s been an interesting year to say the least,’ says the boss in the latest edition of Ask Frank, which you can view in full in the video above. ‘We’ve loads of great experiences within a tough year that that everybody has had but those challenges and situations are always things to learn from.
‘I’ve learnt a lot about the squad, the players and this football club, which has handled itself brilliantly in the tough times. For me, one of the good things to come out of the tough Covid year we’ve had is that the club has stuck together. We’re in a decent place and now we need to push on.’
In terms of assessing where we are in relation to where he thinks we should be after 18 months in the job, Lampard feels that is a difficult snapshot to take until the end of the season but believes there is plenty to be positive about as we prepare to welcome in 2021.
‘Gaining Champions League football certainly felt for me ahead of the curve because we had a year where we lost probably the most influential player to one team in the Premier League in Eden Hazard, with how he performed the year before,’ he adds.
‘We know we couldn’t bring players in but the Academy finally gave us players who earned opportunities within a squad and we fought and worked really hard to get above certain other top teams to make Champions League football so I was pleased with that.
‘I know standards here are to win things but clearly when I came into the job the landscape had changed from a few years previously so now it’s a case of can we build on that. My expectations are always high but you also have to be realistic. I see lots of positive signs within the group but only the work ahead is what counts.’