Frank Lampard praised the displays of two Chelsea players in their 2-1 defeat to Brighton, but didn’t try to “dress up” the performance of his team, with “pride” lacking.
The Blues were completely outplayed by Brighton at Stamford Bridge, with the visitors notching 26 shots to Chelsea’s eight while having the lion’s share of possession.
The result means Lampard has now overseen three consecutive defeats since he took interim charge after the sacking of Graham Potter.
And the club legend was predictably downtrodden in his post-match interview.
Lampard said: “[It’s] difficult because the scoreline doesn’t flatter them, they could have scored more goals. [Brighton] are a very good team first and foremost, they have been working together for a long time and now with the coach and the ideas and the energy and the connection within the team is so good and that’s why they are where they are and we’re not that.
“To get to that will take time, but the first things on the ladder are the basics that we got wrong today. And that can’t be right for us, we have to address that very quickly, because that’s not a Chelsea performance.
“Some of our changes were forced, we needed to spread the minutes. We should have a squad where people are chomping at the bit to make impressions. So we were by no means taking it lightly. This is my first home game on my return so there is no way I would do that. But the result is what it is.
“There is only one way out and that’s to work. Because you come against a team like Brighton who are so good in possession the work side of the game is the crucial one. But for me the level today wasn’t good enough.”
Lampard did though pick out two of his players who can hold their heads high after their displays at Stamford Bridge.
“They could have scored more. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] was fantastic. Conor Gallagher was another who gave every drop individually. But collectively, as a group, we have to accept it. We have to accept what needs to be done to play for this club and try to win games.
“I’ve been at the club nine days, I don’t like what I saw today. I’m not going to try and dress that up in any way. We have to be really honest about that. There should be a feeling when you play for Chelsea of pride involved. We have to do more for Tuesday.
“To get there, there needs to be a new energy. That needs to come back.
“At the moment we’re not in the perfect place. In football you can change the narrative very quickly. We’ll have to have a big desire to do that and it will be a different game.
“It’s not about the club I played for, it’s a different era, even after the time I was manager, other managers have been here and seen success. It’s Chelsea football club, it’s bigger than all of us. We’re not where we want to be, but we have to work like we want to be there tomorrow.”