Frank Lampard gave an honest assessment of his side’s performance in the aftermath of our defeat at Sheffield United, claiming the hosts had been the better side and deserved to take all three points.
The Blues were beaten 3-0 at Bramall Lane, our second defeat since the restart and perhaps a costly one given the small margins for error in the race for Champions League qualification. After the game, Lampard reflected on what went wrong for his side and looked at how they needed to respond.
‘They were better than us physically, in the mind and with the ball so you lose the game,’ stated the boss. ‘They were stronger than us. We don’t have crowds at the minute so you hear every voice and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices so they were stronger in that sense.
‘They had more voice and more personality, which reflected in the way they played. They’re good players and they’re a good team - we all know that this season so if you come here and perform below-par collectively as we did, it’s going to happen.’
Lampard explained his half-time thinking in switching to three at the back.
‘We matched them because we have to respect their shape. We were too slow with the ball, we weren’t even getting our wingers into the game and they have been fantastic since the restart.
‘We tried to get some more control of the game, which we did have after that but we never looked overly threatening and they still had the counter-attack. It definitely made us look more solid against their shape but already at 2-0 down you make it very difficult for yourself.’
He was frustrated with the goals conceded once again.
‘They’re disappointing goals, mistakes that led to goals, individual errors, and if you do that you will lose football matches against good teams. I’ve got to be careful not to over-analyse this one because it’s what you do, analyse all season and review things.
'What we have to do now with that game is put it to bed because the only thing that matters now is that we fight for top four and we’re still in that race because of how we’ve been this season.
'We have to put this game away very quickly but I learnt a lot, I won’t forget that. You tend to learn more in tough moments and tough games but that's for me to deal with moving forward.'
Lampard believes how his team react now will count for a lot.
‘I’m not actually concerned so much about the top four today, even though all I do is watch the games on TV and consider where we’re at and what we want to do.
‘Of course I want to get there but today I’m concerned about how we performed and I learned a lot about that. We cannot approach Norwich or Man United or Liverpool or Wolves in the same way we did today.
'It's not one to cry our eyes out over for days. We know where we're at - we have the opportunity to fight for the top four, which not many expected us to do at the start of the season. We're nowhere near a finished article, I know that and we have to improve.'