Frank Lampard highlights a mental issue his squad needs to solve to consistently get the results our performances deserve and insists he won’t be resting players for our FA Cup clash with Liverpool.
Our head coach and his team were obviously disappointed to come away from Bournemouth with a 2-2 draw from a game in which we dominated the ball with 73 per cent of possession and had 23 shots to the Cherries’ nine.
He feels he has identified one of the reasons we have found it difficult to turn our possession and chances into wins at times this season, but it is a problem he knows the players have to solve for themselves.
‘It’s mindset,’ said Lampard. ‘Every game’s different, but you have to have a mindset within the group, on the pitch, because those things are not unexpected. We spoke at half-time, for instance, about what may happen, what they [Bournemouth] may do, and then you rely on the players on the pitch. So together they have to solve issues. It’s been a problem.
‘It’s always collective. As a group we can’t be happy with it. This group has young players and experienced players and you can’t be happy when you have moments when you concede like that.
‘I don’t think it matters how young you are, it isn’t naivete, I think there is a concentration issue. We have to concentrate even more. Games change with goals – the atmosphere in the stadium, the feelings of the other team. Sometimes you need to dig in and concentrate that little bit more as a group. We’ve been tested with that a lot and we talk about it a lot, but the players have to find a solution on the pitch.’
However, he is also quick to point out that a more clinical and composed approach in the attacking third of the pitch would go a long way towards giving us three points from matches like the one at Bournemouth.
‘At the other end of the scale, I think if we are clinical with our chances those moments aren’t there so much. Leaving games at 1-0 or 0-0 always gives the other team a chance.’
Looking ahead to our next match, when he host the Reds at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday evening, he is determined to put out the best team to earn a memorable win and keep our chances of lifting the trophy alive.
‘We’ll be going all out for the victory,’ he said. ‘It’s Liverpool, our fans are coming to see us in the FA Cup trying to overturn the best team in the land. It doesn’t mean I might not change a couple of people, I think there might be something for freshness of legs or a couple of little different options, but I won’t pick a team casually where I’m giving minutes. I’m treating it with the care I would any Premier League game.’