Frank Lampard calls on senior players to take the lead as Chelsea closes in on the Champions League spot
Frank Lampard has urged his Chelsea players to get up and find their votes for a ‘critical time’ in their top four chase.
The pressure in the hunt for Champions League football has been heightened on the chasing pack behind Liverpool and Manchester City after the latter’s ban was lifted, meaning that only a top four finish next season will guarantee a spot in the European top league.
Chelsea have the destiny in their hands with three more games to go, although Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United underscored the issues Lampard has discovered all season.
Frank Lampard called on his leaders to stand up in the last games of the Chelsea season
Lampard only complained that he could hear Sheffield United’s voices as his side went down, which is even more noticeable in the absence of fans.
Prior to Norwich’s visit on Tuesday night, Lampard, whose squad also has an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Sunday, said: ‘I have great personalities and there will be great personalities on the team. They have to get up.
Show the quality they have shown for much of the season. I trust that they will do it and since we are on the business end it is very important that they do that. The size of the mentality cannot be underestimated.
“How big is the attitude. When talking about players, it is very easy and natural to look at talent, but you also have to look at attitude and character within the team.
“We are in a good place, but it is something we can improve.
Younger players can be more vocal, grow as they progress. Older players can take responsibility to help that too.
“Critical times like this, where a lot is at stake, it is time for people to make that improvement. It’s much easier to open your mouth than to beat three players and put them in the top corner. ‘
The Blues slipped last weekend to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United
Speaking about the problem that Lampard picked up at Sheffield United, he said, “It’s something I picked up before, something I talk to the players about and one of the easiest things to do on the field, to help your teammates, to help the group by being vocal, driving people up, being vocal and talking, “he said.
“We certainly don’t have enough. We need to get better at that and I am drilling that with the players, especially now that you can hear it because the stadiums feel different, it is something we have to get better at and I expect that from the players. ‘
And because he’s played in teams for a club and a country with dominant characters, Lampard knows the importance of having teammates with big voices.
He said, “It adds a lot, I know that. It’s one of the basics and I remember as a young boy I was taught to communicate with your teammate, want the ball, demand the ball, demand from others, support others.
“The important thing is that you can be as quiet as you want out of the field, we have some quiet players here who keep themselves to themselves, but they have to get out of there on the field, they have to demand the ball, otherwise the game can you pass.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante may have recovered in time from an injury for Sunday’s FA Cup semifinal
“They need to have character and spirit to talk to people around them and where we are young we need to improve that.
“It is a daily activity, perhaps because the players grow a bit in themselves. I keep telling them, the staff keeps telling them and hopefully that message will come home.
“But sometimes it’s not so easy when players are generally quiet and it’s something we generally need to look at and keep improving.”
Chelsea also has the worst defense record of the top 10, their goals now equaling 49.
Lampard has chopped and changed his defensive stance, but when asked if he needed a regular mid-back to fix the problem, he said, “I don’t think it’s a partnership.
Lampard wants his players to be vocal and make themselves heard with empty stadiums
‘Can we relax more if we improve? Hell yes. Will it only be two players who will be your central defenders? I don’t think that will be the case. ‘
Any improvement against Norwich will have to come from the same players Lampard had available to beat Sheffield United.
But N’Golo Kante “ has a chance ” to recover from his hamstring injury time to be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.