Frank Lampard believes Chelsea must become “killers” in attack to build on an overdue win and bridge the significant gap with the Premier League’s leading clubs.
The mid-table Blues ended a nine-match winless run, including six consecutive defeats since Lampard was reappointed, by beating Bournemouth 3-1 on Saturday.
Conor Gallagher headed the visitors forward at Vitality Stadium, but after Matias Vina’s equaliser, they were largely toothless until the late finish from Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix ended the protracted slump.
While a top half is Chelsea’s biggest potential this season, they hope to challenge for Champions League qualification at least next season.
Interim manager Lampard, who will leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, believes the Blues need to develop a brutal streak to do so and suggested the club may need more recruits despite already having more than £600 million in transfers issued since Todd Boehly’s taking over.
Frank Lampard believes Chelsea need to develop ‘a killer instinct at the top of the pitch’
Lampard claimed his first win as interim manager of the Blues against Bournemouth yesterday
Connor Gallagher (bottom left) opened the scoring for the Blues within the first 10 minutes
“We controlled a lot of the game,” he said of the south coast success.
“Without the killer instinct we ran a lot in their penalty area in the first half, we had a lot of overload on the side of the pitch.
“And as this team develops or as we expand our team, I think you need to be more killers at the top of the field.
“If you look at the top half of the table, you see that everywhere. At the moment we don’t have that. But you saw great individual performances in a positive direction.”
Two-time European champions Chelsea are eleventh, no less than 40 points behind leaders Manchester City and a long way from the top four.
Traveling supporters celebrated the much-anticipated triumph with self-deprecating cries of “we’re staying up” after previously directing derogatory chants at American businessman Boehly.
Lampard backed the club’s owners to ultimately be successful after a dismal first campaign at the helm.
“The fans are used to a lot of success, they want a lot of success,” said the former Blues midfielder.
“What I do know is that the fans will stay with this club. I do know that there are many intentions to bring this club back to where we want it.
“There is not a club of our size that has not had transition periods.
“People would give a left arm to have the success that we’ve had for 20 years, so if it’s our year where we have to go again and work a little bit and try to come back stronger next year, all of us stick together, then I will’ I’m sure we will.”
The West London club will move on to meetings with relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest, reigning champions City and Champions League contenders Manchester United and Newcastle.
Lampard is concerned left-back Ben Chilwell will be unavailable for the run-in after stumbling into the Cherries.
“It’s a hamstring injury,” he said.
“We don’t know if it’s serious, but with a hamstring injury at this stage of the season it’s obviously been a concern for the last few games.”
Ben Chilwell (second from left) left the field with an injury that spelled worrying scenes for Chelsea
Benoit Badiashile (pictured) scored Chelsea’s second goal with eight minutes to play
After the game, Lampard supported the club owners to achieve eventual success
Bournemouth started the weekend on 39 points with Chelsea and had the better chances of a winner before being disappointed late on, with Badiashile’s crucial strike from a Hakim Ziyech free-kick inside the penalty area.
The Cherries have the worst record in the division for allowing goals from set pieces, a problem head coach Gary O’Neil is all too eager to address.
“We’ve had trouble defending balls in the penalty area,” he said. “We are clearly aware of it and it is something we need to improve.
“I’m hopeful that we can get some work done from week to week now, but then we can sort things out for next season to make us much stronger in that area.”