Frank Lampard watched his side come from behind to win an entertaining pre-season friendly at Reading and reflected afterwards on the summer campaign so far. He also spoke directly to the Chelsea supporters in condemning a particular chant sung by them in support of our new head coach.
Mason Mount bagged a brace in the second half, adding to goals before the break from Ross Barkley and Kenedy, to help the Blues to a 4-3 victory in Berkshire. It was our first pre-season friendly on home soil after trips to Ireland and Japan, and Lampard claimed it was another positive step in our preparations for the 2019/20 season, which begins in a fortnight.
‘The players have done everything that we as staff have asked of them,’ he said. ‘We’ve had two good trips – one to Dublin which was purely work and the boys worked brilliantly, and then Japan to see the fans over there and play two very tough games so that was also great for us.
'The clock is ticking and we only have two weeks left to be ready for Manchester United but I’m pleased.’
There were 22 players used by the visitors at the Madejski Stadium and Lampard acknowledged that tough decisions would have to be made in the coming weeks.
‘I wouldn’t say I’ve made decisions yet in terms of selection for those early games or what the squad looks like because that’s a line and I don’t want to draw that line just yet,’ he claimed.
‘There’s not a player who hasn’t pushed themselves and shown me everything but these are decisions I have to make. They’re not absolutely clear decisions but I’ll make them in due course.’
Over 2,000 Chelsea fans made the relatively short trip west along the M4 and their support was vocal throughout. However, Lampard was keen to address one particular chant sung in his name that contains a derogatory term referring to West Ham as ‘pikeys’. The boss insists that fan backing will be important this season but he urged fans to show their support without causing offence.
‘The support of the fans is incredible,’ he said. ‘I didn’t hear the song today but I’m aware of it. If there’s a song that has offensive words in it then of course I don’t want to hear that and that’s me saying that as a big Chelsea man who really appreciates the support I’ve had over the years.
‘We don’t want songs with offensive words so if the fans can sing other songs while still backing the team, which is more important than myself, then I’ll certainly back that. We’re all aware the club are very strong with the work we do off the pitch in terms of anything that’s offensive or prejudice. We’ve made a big mark in recent years so we don’t want that.’