With the Premier League season at the quarter-way-through stage and Chelsea on a good run of form, Frank Lampard has considered whether he is reassessing his targets for 2019/20.
The Blues head to Burnley for tomorrow’s game in fourth position in the table and a win at Turf Moor would give us a seventh successive victory in all competitions for the first time since April/May 2017.Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Friday afternoon, Lampard spoke about what his expectations were at the start of the season.‘I didn’t consider points or positions necessarily,’ he said. ‘I knew I wanted to be competitive of course, but I just considered in pre-season what can we do here, what is in front of us, the staff. I considered the ideas we wanted to get across to the team and I am pleased with the last six games.‘There were bits before which I was less pleased with. I thought we could have picked up more points in the early stage of the season because sometimes our performances warranted that, but we have worked hard to get to a patch where we have well-deserved wins, so I am pleased but I want to focus on the fact that I want it to continue.‘My targets remain a constant. Win, lose or draw, my thought goes instantly to the next game and I don’t go too far ahead. It is a good feeling at the moment and I want to keep that, and temper it with a little bit of edginess so we know if we drop our standards, we will fall back again. I am not getting overly excited by it, it actually makes me want to work a bit harder to see that the work we have done give us some nice results. It focus the mind even more.’
The past two wins have been with narrow scorelines which in themselves have shown the side is developing in the right direction.‘That has been a great fact for us,’ Lampard states. ‘Newcastle was a different challenge, we had not had a team like that which has come to the Bridge and really sat back and made it difficult, and they did it well, but we created a lot, we dominated and the important thing then is to keep the clean sheet so one goal wins you the game.‘Ajax was a different animal and the pleasure I got out of that was as much as I got all season. We were up against a top-class opponent who were technically really difficult to play against and our work ethic off the ball was huge. That is what I want to be our base, we kept a clean sheet with our desire to defend, Cesar Azpilicueta making tackles in the six-yard box and the team as group defending high up the pitch, stopping Ajax getting up the pitch and when we had to defend deep we did it.’
So was he surprised the young players in the team have met the challenges so well?‘They are very new to the Champions League, and as a player who played in it a lot, I know the difficulties of the Champions League and the problems it gives a young player,’ Lampard explained.‘They have adapted to that brilliantly. I believed in them at the start of the season, that is why in pre-season I made decisions about the squad in terms of keeping players or looking at them and asking can you play in the first team. I had that belief so I would not say I am completely surprised.’Lampard was also asked to comment on a claim made by former Chelsea player and now radio presenter Jason Cundy who said every team bar Man City and Liverpool would want to be Chelsea at the moment, with an icon as manager, good results and lots of young talent emerging.‘I appreciate that from Jason and I appreciate nice headlines and nice talk about the team,’ the boss replied, ‘but I have to stay very closed to that myself because the moment you take in those sort statements and headlines are the moment everybody won’t want to be you because you drop your standards.‘We are just doing what we are doing here, everybody is working hard, I am working hard, the staff are working hard and we always want constant improvement, so we won’t sit and compare ourselves to everyone else.’
Read Frank Lampard's post-match comments after Ajax win