Frank Lampard has addressed the media as he prepares his side to take on Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend.
The Blues were in Champions League action in midweek, with positives and negatives to take from their 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla.
In terms of league action, Chelsea succumbed to a 3-3 draw in their most recent outing with Southampton to leave them eighth in the table with eight points from their opening five fixtures.
Here is what Lampard had to say ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.
A record-breaking summer outlay ensured Lampard could have no qualms about being backed in the transfer market, with a wealth of talent waltzing through the Stamford Bridge doors to the tune of over £200m.
Results haven’t been what Lampard would have liked since, yet the Blues boss insisted he is seeing the early signs of progression despite still urging for patience from supporters.
“I am seeing some signs of that [his side gelling], but people came in with injuries,” he said pre-match, via football.london. “I am seeing signs but I am not jumping ahead. I knew it would take some time. I expect us to get better. It’s not perfect to have new players with no pre-season.
“I want them to grow as leaders in the group. There are tough times and you want them to push each other. You need to have character. Hakim has a confidence about him. I encourage personality within the group.”
Having been seemingly plummeted into a crisis, United have bounced back both domestically and in Europe with a convincing win over Newcastle, followed by a magnificent victory away at last season’s Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain.
It’s a clash that Lampard has admitted falls under the category of a ‘big game’.
“It certainly does feel like a big game,” he added. “They are a quality team, they went to Paris and got a fantastic result. It’s an opportunity to get some hard-earned points.
“I think the league is unpredictable. There have been big turnarounds in games, they are a very good team.”
Chelsea, for all their riches in forward positions, still operate under the notion of being a side with a weak underbelly. They are, for lack of a better word, questionable at the back. However, a clean sheet at home to last season’s Europa League winners on Tuesday will have done his side the world of good – although Lampard insisted there is more to it than that.
“Clean sheet gives confidence, but it’s a simplistic view to say that everything goes wrong when you concede goals,” he confessed. “The finer details of how we want to be off the ball is something we want to work on.
While we’re only five match weeks into the 2020/21 season, the farcical nature of English football has come to the fore with some mind-boggling results and surprising team performances raising even Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrows.
Lampard stated his side won’t get carried away with how the league in panning out, instead directing focus on their own performances.
He concluded: “It’s too early to assume anything. It’s early. The games of teams around you will always be big. There are games where you have to grind out.
“I think there has been an uncertainty within life and the game which has brought an unpredictability. We have to focus on ourselves. We have belief in our team. It’s far too early, though.”