After a disappointing defeat on Tyneside in the Premier League, Frank Lampard offered his thoughts on a game we dominated but somehow lost with one of the last efforts of the evening.
Isaac Hayden’s header deep into stoppage time condemned us to a loss, even though we claimed 70 per cent of possession and had 19 efforts on goal. A dispirited Lampard admitted afterwards that the frustrations encapsulated some of our season so far when it comes to playing well but failing to win.
‘It’s because we didn’t score,’ the boss said simply. ‘I know they had three headers at our goal but we had control of the whole game. It’s been the story of parts of our season - there have been so many great stories of our season but part of it is we control, we create but we don’t score.
‘If we don’t score enough goals, a team like Newcastle won’t come out, they’re very organised with what they do, and you’re always open to what happened.
‘We probed, we changed the play, they dropped deep so it’s not easy to run behind them so you have to move the ball from side to side quickly. At times in the first half, maybe that was a little bit slow but in the second half it wasn’t.
‘When we did attack, there were so many moments where a bit of quality, the final pass, and certainly the finish wasn’t there for us today.’
Frank was asked about our failure to score on the road for the first time since the opening day of the season.
‘We can’t absolutely rely on Tammy Abraham. We have to have goals from across the frontline if we want to bridge the gap upwards. Tammy has been fantastic this season - it didn’t quite come off for him today but that’s football.
‘I can’t complain about anything from the team really. Of course we don’t want to give headers away in our box, they’re big and that happens but other than that, we gave everything we could to try to win the game.
‘You address on it on the training ground with the players but we can’t practise finishing or entering the final third any more than what we do. We have to be more clinical and the players know that.’
Michy Batshuayi was introduced late on and Lampard explained his reasons behind the decision, as opposed to going to two up front.
‘Sometimes we can [switch to two in attack] if a game feels that way but in that case it would have meant bringing off N’Golo Kante - who was outsnading all game - or Jorginho at the base of our midfield and you have to be careful with their counter-attack.
‘We were creating a lot so the Michy change was to change the feeling of the striker. Can he come on and make something happen because he’s very dangerous around the box so it was just like-for-like.’