Reflecting on our smooth passage to the next round of the FA Cup, Frank Lampard gave credit to those players who came into the side today having not featured of late, and reserved special praise for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who set us on our way against Nottingham Forest.
The young winger opened the scoring in the sixth minute and was involved in the second goal, too, eventually converted by Ross Barkley shortly after the half-hour.
That proved the end of the scoring and although Lampard would have liked more goals from his team, he was still satisfied with the manner in which we negotiated this third-round tie….
‘I’m pleased,’ the boss said afterwards. ‘None of these games are easy. I played in them and I know that, whatever people say about them.
‘We made changes, they made changes, so it’s how you approach it and I was pleased with the approach. I was pretty pleased with the first half, not so the second. I wanted us to kick on and use it to see how relentless we could be and keep doing what we did in the first half, especially down the right-hand side.
‘That’s me being picky but those are the levels we want to sustain to get better, but it was a comfortable win.’
Barkley, Pedro, Michy Batshuayi and Andreas Christensen were among those brought into the starting XI
‘They all did okay in terms of how they applied themselves. It’s easy for me to demand a lot and say come in and make a difference and show you should play every week.
‘Their answer will be ‘if we’re not playing every week it’s not easy in a one-off chance’, and I am very aware of that. I don’t expect they come in and make an absolute difference that makes me go ‘wow’, but all their applications were good. It was a difficult game. There were things we could have done better as a team, we could have been sharper once we did play through the lines.
‘Now we have a month of January which is important for us going into the two-week break. I want competition and I want people to show, not just today but in training during the week, that they want to be in the team for Burnley.’
Hudson-Odoi enjoyed perhaps his best game since returning from injury
‘It was a good performance: pleased to see him high up the pitch, pleased to see him being aggressive wanting to get at people, that’s what he is there for. He gets his goal, a great strike.
‘It’s been an interesting 12 months for him. When you consider how young he is, you have to take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons, he got a terrible injury, he came back very early. When he did come back there will still issues getting him absolutely tip-top. Then he’s in the spotlight because of his new contract and who he is.
‘It was nice step forward for him today. The next challenge will be the next time he plays. Can he do that, can he do more? Can he keep sustaining that improvement?’
Lampard assessed our prospects in the FA Cup
‘I’d obviously love to win it. It’s always a tough road to get to a final and then win a final. We got through this round, who knows who we’ll get in the next round.
‘We have to set our sights to try and win it, of course. This club always wants to be competitive and it’s another competition we’re in. We’re in three competitions and we’ll give everything in all of them.’
Olivier Giroud was an unused sub today and has been linked with a move away
‘There’s no update on Oli. I have spoken with him. If the conditions are it’s something Oli really wants to do, and it works for the club, and it works for me and the squad, then it’s something that could happen, but only when all three of those bases are covered.’