Frank Lampard acknowledged he has lots of work to do to get Chelsea back to the level expected of us after a defeat to Brighton which left him even more unhappy with the performance of his players than the result.
Chelsea took the lead through Conor Gallagher in the first half, but a strong Brighton team were on the front foot for large parts of the game and levelled just prior to the break, before securing their win with an unstoppable long-range effort in the second period.
However, Frank Lampard believes that in his role as caretaker manager it is more important to get the team performing well rather than focussing solely on results, although that was little consolation as he left Stamford Bridge with the impression that his team had taken a step backwards.
'At the moment, more than defeats, it’s performance that we need to talk about,' explained Lampard. 'Wins only come with performance and in terms of performance that was the most disappointing one because we were well beaten.
'It’s a very good Brighton team and we must give them some credit because they can perform like that pretty much against anyone in the league, but we were short. We were a yard short, a tackle short, a fighting duel moment short and that’s not right. You’re not going to win games like that. You have to have the capacity to do that as well as the desire and at the moment we’re falling short. We need to turn that around quickly.
'The only thing that matters now is the reaction to the end of the season, to try and get improvement. People will talk about three losses but I’m thinking about performance and then wins will come. Today the performance wasn’t worthy of a win.
'It’s for me to try to get to the bottom of quickly and change it. There are things in a performance that are a must for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge against a team like Brighton who can play. That is sprints, recovery runs, getting up to people and recovering and then when you get the ball sticking to the ideas that you want to stick to. We came away from that today and the capacity wasn’t there. It’s my job to get as much improvement as I can, but from that performance today we certainly have work to do.'
Lampard highlighted the physical side of the game as an area where we need to improve fast...
'To be a top team or to have ambitions to be a top team there’s no doubt that you need to be towards the top of the physical numbers in the league and we have to aspire to do that. That’s an individual thing and a collective thing.
'A collective strong group only comes through the individuals within it. That’s been the history of this club for 20 years. For whatever reason there can probably be some mitigating factors at the moment with some of the change but it can’t be an excuse, it just has to be a factor to fight through to get to where you want to be.
'I’m not going to dress today’s performance up and I don’t think the players would want me to. I can see that there’s talent in this group, but this is the Premier League so you have to have the extra bits but we were short of those today.'
He also reacted to the fact both goals we conceded against Brighton came after losing possession in our own half...
'If you’re going to turn over the ball then teams that are good in transition, especially in your own half, are going to punish you for that. Turning over the ball is a hard one for a coach because no-one means to lose the ball, but if you make mistakes like that you get punished.'