Frank Lampard has insisted the Chelsea players ‘do care’ about the club despite their woeful results recently, as he looks ahead to their clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Blues icon has lost all of his first six games since rejoining the club last month – the only manager in Chelsea’s history to do so.
As a result, pressure is mounting on Lampard and on the players. You would think that if Chelsea fail to get a result against Bournemouth, the former Everton manager’s days at Stamford Bridge could be numbered.
In his pre-match press conference, Lampard was firstly asked whether or not his players have given a response to their dismal form in training.
“To be clear, when I say the players care – they do. The reality is the reaction that comes from that,” he said.
“It can be many reasons why, it can be an underperformance. It’s not a training issue as such. It’s working with the players and team or individually to make sure everyone is on point.
The Chelsea manager then responded to Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly’s recent comments, when the American insisted he was ‘committed to the club’s improvement’ and that it was a ‘long-term project.’
“It’s a good thing. To speak so positively, it’s what I’ve found since I’ve been here. Good intentions. That’s good. From my point of view, I don’t know. I’m here with the squad at the minute to try and get a turnaround then it’s up to the owners,” Lampard said.
When asked if he is hurting due to Chelsea’s performances, Lampard added: “I’m not hurting. I’ve been part of this club with big success. Any sport can give you moments of adversity.
“We at Chelsea have been pretty fortunate for 20 years. When the spotlight is on you, it’s on you. As a player or a coach, you have to understand that.
“I think every situation is different. I’m the third, maybe fourth [Chelsea] manager. So from that you can see it’s been a tough season all round. It’s a new situation for me because all of my jobs have been permanent before. This job is just different.”
Then, when asked if he had a message for the Chelsea fans, Lampard said: “They will stick with the team. I don’t have to tell them that. The club has gone from when I first joined to a really big football club to a monster of a football club worldwide.
“For myself and the players, we have to show an immense amount of pride in what we do in these remaining games. At the moment, we have to do what’s right in front of us.”
Lampard finally switched his attention to Bournemouth, and heaped praise on manager Gary O’Neil for turning the Cherries form around at a crucial time in the season.
“He’s done a great job. Full credit to him. I don’t know the details. What he’s created is a team with high energy and high intensity. He’s getting the credit he rightfully deserves.”
Then, on the threat of former Blues player Dominic Solanke, Lampard added: “I remember training with him. Clearly a high talent. I speak with the coaches at the academy a lot and they have a high regard of him.
“He’s still young, it’s good to see him performing so well. I’m pleased for him on an individual note because he has his origins here at the club.”