Ross Barkley has pointed out the Blues are going through a period of transition at the moment under new management and with plenty of fresh faces in the team. Despite that, the midfield is adamant we can ‘surprise a lot of people’ this season.
Barkley played an hour of Saturday’s draw with Sheffield United when we let a two-goal half-time advantage slip. The England international revealed what Frank Lampard said to the players in the dressing room during the interval as well as after the final whistle.
‘We scored two goals in the first half which were gifted to us really, and he said if we’re not careful and we concede a goal then we’ll be up against it. We conceded a goal early in the second half and then things just didn’t go our way from then on.
‘Afterwards he didn’t pick on anyone individually,’ added Barkley.
‘We didn’t perform well as a team so it was more speaking about the whole team as a collective and not individual performances. You’ve just got to try and make things happen but we didn’t create enough chances and didn’t hit the target as much as we should have. We all know and we all spoke in the changing room after the game that we didn’t perform at the levels we can.
‘Tammy scored two goals but he can’t win the game on his own. There’s a lot of talent in the changing room, the players we’ve got are unbelievable, but we just weren’t at the level we should be at.
‘It’s disappointing without a game coming up quickly to change the way we feel right now, but we’ve got to be ready when we come back to go again.’
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Despite the result there has still been plenty to admire in some of our play this season, and Barkley has explained the impact Lampard has had on the squad, which now includes a significant number of Chelsea Academy graduates.
‘He wants us to improve and perform at the level we can perform at. He’s not too nice, he can have a go, he has a go in training when things aren’t going well.
‘The positive side of things is he trusts young players. As well as developing them he is implementing a new style of play with us. The early signs are that we’re improving.
‘[Saturday] isn’t going to determine where we finish at the end of the season. We’re only four league games in. We’re going to come back after the internationals and try to lead by example in training and put better performances in.
‘We’re going through a bit of a development phase at the minute but we can still perform really well over the course of the season and surprise a lot of people.’
Barkley also praised the impact made by 18-year-old Billy Gilmour, who has been training with the senior team since pre-season and on Saturday made his Chelsea debut off the bench.
‘He’s a very confident young lad. As you can see the manager brought him on in a game where it could have gone either way.
‘He’s showed it in training by putting his foot in, creating chances and scoring goals. He’s got a big career ahead of him.’