With one more game to go in the 2022/23 season, Frank Lampard has given an update on whether either Reece James or Mason Mount will be able to make a return from injury in Sunday’s meeting with Newcastle.
Neither has played since we hosted Real Madrid just over a month ago but they have been working outside at Cobham on rehabilitation, leading to questions on their availability for this weekend’s game.
‘Reece won’t be fit and Mason is going to be really tight,’ Lampard responded. ‘Reece came out [at training] on Wednesday and he went back in. He had a little bit of an awareness but we hope the scan says there is no real damage. It is probably just a little reminder that it is a bit too early to be out.’
While we wait to find out what will be the final team selection by Lampard as Chelsea’s caretaker manager this season, one young player did his chances of being in Sunday’s side no harm with his performance yesterday night at Manchester United.
Carney Chukwuemeka was in from the start for the first time under Lampard having been used as a substitute the game before at Manchester City. Despite ending up on the losing side at Old Trafford, the 19-year-old received his coach’s praise.
‘Carney did really well coming into midfield, he came in with a lot of personality,’ said Lampard.
‘It has been one of the harder parts of my job with the numbers in the squad - the balance of going with a team you feel can win games and having time to work with the younger players who you haven’t seen before.
‘Normally there is the process of a pre-season and time, and you can really work and talk and train,’ he added. ‘We haven’t had that sort of time.
‘Unfortunately Carney hasn’t had an opportunity from me until Thursday night but he did well and Noni [Madueke] did pretty well again.’
At the other end of the Chelsea experience spectrum, the captain also caught Lampard’s eye in our most recent game.
‘I thought Azpi was fantastic in terms of his captaining and his attitude which for me is 70 per cent of the game, how you apply yourself and your attitude.’