Chelsea: Lampard confident he can cope with pressure
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has reiterated to owner Roman Abramovich that moments of “pain and frustration” are inevitable as his team continue to gel and says he is determined to bring long-term success to the club. The Blues overcame mid-table Championship outfit Luton Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to alleviate some pressure on the manager.
Lampard’s Chelsea future has been a hot topic of late with the Londoners slipping down to ninth in the Premier League table and 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester United.
That’s despite having started strongly earlier this season, embarking on a 17-game unbeaten run across all competitions which saw Chelsea tipped as a team to have a major say in the destination of the title.
The win over Luton was just Chelsea’s fourth in their last 11 games and helped Lampard get back to winning ways after a disappointing top-flight loss at the hands of Leicester in midweek.
Defeat might well have led to the axe although Chelsea owner Abramovich wants to give Lampard as much time as possible.
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The Russian oligarch needs his side to qualify for the Champions League this term with their chances of a top-four finish currently under threat, and would have hoped to see a title charge this season after a £220million summer spend.
But Lampard has repeated his point that tough moments are inevitable with such a young new-look team, with only Aston Villa, Wolves and Fulham naming a younger team in the Premier League on average this term.
Asked if he felt he needed the win over Luton to cling on to his job, Lampard said: “I always need these results. This is Chelsea. Like you said at the start, you’re in the next round, how’d you feel? People expect it.
“People also expect a lot in terms of our league position. My job is to see the inside to know what goes on, to know the work we need to do and to look at the team today and see that we’ve got a lot of young players in the team.
“Billy Gilmour comes in and I thought he was outstanding by the way. Mason Mount as captain, another part of his progression. There’s a lot to it. People will look very closely at the moment. I try and see a bigger picture.
“Of course I wanted the result today because it gives a nice air of positivity around the club and for the players to get to the next round.
“We’re now in two cup competitions, the Champions League next round and the FA Cup and we want to win more points in the league. That’s where we’re at.”
A new banner which reads: ‘In Frank we trust. Then. Now. Forever.’ could meanwhile be seen in Stamford Bridge’s Shed End against Luton and Lampard insists he is grateful for the support of the club’s fans.
He said: “I knew about the banner a week or two ago quite directly from the people who put it together. They’re obviously huge supporters of this club and I was very appreciative.
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“I don’t know if emotional is the word but people who know how I feel about this club will understand it’s a two-way thing from the first time I came here nearly 20 years ago or whatever it is.
“I’m very thankful for that support and it’s great to see it at the Bridge. I feel it very strongly.
“I know the modern world has moved on and social media and eyes come from all parts of the world. One thing I know when I’m at the Bridge, I’m at the club I love and have always had huge support as a player and now as a manager.
“I appreciate it very much. All I want to do is repay that with being successful at the club and working through a tough moment to try and bring long-term success to the club.
“There will be moments of pain and moments of frustration. When you see the fans are there sticking with you and going forward and forward, that’s an important thing for me.”
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