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“I was pleased” – Lampard hails Chelsea quartet after ‘difficult year’ amid confidence claim



(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard has been full of praise for Chelsea’s English quartet following their draw against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by Steve Cooper’s side who boosted their Premier League survival bid as Taiwo Awoniyi’s double cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s brace at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard saw his side avoid defeat for the second game in a row after their 3-1 win over Bournemouth, a pleasing but frustrating sight for the 44-year-old who rued their lack of ruthlessness in the first half to turn possession dominance into goals.

“No (we didn’t deserve more from the game), because of the first 45 minutes,” reflected the Chelsea caretaker boss. “We understood exactly how Forest would come here. They’ve got results recently with a very solid five at the back, good counter-attacking team which you have to be very wary of.

“Where we had that much control of the ball in the first half, we need to do a lot more with it.

“We can only look at ourselves and say ‘the things we spoke about before the game we didn’t do in the first half at the top end of the pitch’. Too much sideways passing, too slow, not enough risk at the top end of the pitch. Maybe some of that is because players are not at the performance levels they want to be at so it’s safe.

“But we are Chelsea and we have to be more dynamic, more clinical like Raheem was in the second half. That means you don’t get a winner. The game was there for us to win.”

Lampard made five changes to his Chelsea side that beat Bournemouth. Lewis Hall and Raheem Sterling were handed starts, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench and Trevoh Chalobah retained his spot in the side.

The Chelsea boss was full of praise for the English quartet when speaking to the club’s in-house media team and hopes their performances can give them a confidence lift heading into the final three games of the season against Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United.

Raheem Sterling bagging a brace

“I’m pleased for him individually because for a winger to score from the penalty spot on a cut-back is a good thing, good positioning. Obviously the second goal was individual talent of Raheem. He’s shown he can do it over many years.

“It’s been a difficult year for him at the club, a difficult year for a lot of people, we all know that. We know that he has the credit of what he’s done in his career and we need that from players at the top end of the pitch. I was pleased with him personally and I hope it helps his confidence in these last few games.”

Ruben Loftus Cheek’s performance

“He did a lot. I like Ruben. He drove with the ball, he gives you that nice physicality and a bit of finesse he has with his feet. I’ve been wanting to get Ruben more minutes, but it’s not always easy in that part of the pitch where Conor has been doing well, N’Golo we know, Enzo is there, so it’s not always easy finding those positions for him. But I was pleased with what he did.”

Trevoh Chalobah and Lewis Hall

“Trevoh was really good. His enthusiasm to play when you are asking full-backs to step in – overlap, underlap and be really proactive. He was spot on.

“For Lewis, he’s not played so many games, first game playing for me I thought he did well. There’s things he can improve, he will understand that. There are some moments in the game where you could see that, but at the same time he’s a very good player. He needs to come out of himself more, he’s a quiet lad. He needs to trust in his ability, but have confidence and understand some things he will need to really progress. But I’m pleased with the way he played generally.”