Frank Lampard believes the most important attribute he and his players can show right now to come through a period of faltering form is fight.
The Blues have one win in their past five Premier League outings but switch their attention to the FA Cup this weekend with a fourth-round tie against Luton Town.
With media scrutiny intensifying around our recent results, Lampard reflected on his fighting spirit in tough moments as a player and urged the current crop to show similar qualities now.
‘I’m a fighter first and foremost,’ he said. ‘I managed to make a career out of the game as a player and when I packed up, I could easily have stayed in the media or come out of football completely but I got back involved with a desire to be successful.
‘I didn’t have the blinkers on. I knew there would be tough times and things you couldn’t control like you did as a player.
'I love the job and I love the fact that if you can fight your way out of those tough times – that’s me and the players – it’s the best feeling in football.’
After pinpointing a lack of energy as a reason behind recent below-par performances, the boss indicated that attributes like drive, desire and positivity were now bigger factors in turning things around.
‘It’s a talented group but a young group in parts,’ he went on. ‘Maybe you look at previous title-winning squads and the players you relied on week-in, week-out who have been there and done it a bit more, but we are fighting on different levels now.
‘Fight is an important word in football. We have to put things to the side. I don’t think it’s going to be 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 that will win us games in the short-term. It will be the passion, desire and togetherness of the team.’
Lampard spent 13 years as a player at Stamford Bridge and knows from his time in the dressing room how representing the club can bring its pressures as well as rewards. However, he emphasised that the good times could outweigh the bad as long as there was a hunger to work through the issues.
‘When I was a player here, I always looked at managers and considered what good times and tough times looked like for them, and how that responsibility is different to a player,’ he added.
‘Fortunately, in the 18 months I’ve been here, I have managed to get both levels. I’ve had some really good individual games, like the last game of last season to qualify for the Champions League.
‘I have thought about the tough times and it’s fine. You have to go into the job wanting to handle pressure, wanting to handle success in the right way, being humble about it at all times. That is what I do.
‘Talk can be nonsense. It’s only actions that matter and all I can control is what’s in front of me.’