Europe’s premium club competition starts all over again tomorrow evening and Frank Lampard believes his Chelsea side will be well prepared for the test that awaits from Sevilla.
The Blues were beaten by eventual winners Bayern Munich in the round of 16 last season, having successfully navigated through a tricky group stage.
Lampard believes his young players will have learned from the experiences of last term and feels the Blues are fully aware of what is expected at this elite-level of competition.
‘It's a great platform to learn from because you’re playing against the best in Europe and we played the best last season in Bayern Munich,’ said Lampard at his pre-match press conference.
‘It shows you the quality you face in the Champions League and it also shows that we were a young team last year, many playing in the Champions League for the first time, and we can use and learn from those experiences. Bayern was a great marker for the young players in the squad, for understanding about the level that needs to be attained.’
Sevilla visit the Bridge tomorrow evening for our first fixture in Group E, which also includes Krasnodar and Rennes, with the Blues heading into the game off the back of a high-scoring draw with Southampton in the Premier League.
Lampard believes Sevilla will offer us a different kind of challenge but insists the same principles remain in order for us to achieve a positive result, with the boss highlighting the need for ‘game management’ in European fixtures such as this one.
‘Concentration, focus and discipline is even more important against opposition like Sevilla,’ added Frank.
‘I keep talking about the need for work and how things can take time. We're playing with new players and it's understandable to have moments where I talk about game management. It has to be worked on with time. It's a lesson to be learnt in time.’
Lampard ended his press conference by offering a positive update on Billy Gilmour, with the young Scottish midfielder recovering well from a serious knee injury he suffered towards the end of last season.
‘Billy is working really well,’ Frank explained. ‘He’s probably three or four weeks away from his return.
‘He’s working outside with the physios at the moment but we hope to integrate him into training with either ourselves or the Under-21s at some point soon. We are probably looking at the other side of the next international break with Billy, all being well.’