Wednesday 24 July 2019

Frank Lampard: Chelsea need to improve fitness

Batshuayi scored in Lampard’s first game in charge of Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the friendly with Bohemians (Brian Lawless/PA)
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the friendly with Bohemians (Brian Lawless/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admitted his side need to boost their fitness after a draw with Bohemians.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw in Dublin after Michy Batshuayi’s opener was cancelled out by trialist Eric Molloy’s late goal.

It was Lampard’s first game after he was appointed at Stamford Bridge following his exit from Derby last week.

Fitness was always going to be an issue against a team that's halfway through their season Frank Lampard

“Fitness was our issue, we’ve been working hard on it, even this morning,” he told a press conference after the game.

“Fitness was always going to be an issue against a team that’s halfway through their season. We certainly pushed ourselves to the limit.

“The quicker we get there the better. It’s about individuals getting fit. Some of the young lads were really good. We want to get a level of fitness and intensity in their game.”

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Danny Drinkwater started for Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

Lampard gave Danny Drinkwater the chance to impress from the start after he was frozen out by old boss Mauricio Sarri.

Batshuayi, who had been on loan at Crystal Palace from January, also started and he fired in from close range after eight minutes.

Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kurt Zouma featured after their loans last term but Lampard was denied victory following Molloy’s 89th-minute leveller.

“I’ve enjoyed it, we’ve got great support over here. It was a tough game for us, we’ve only been here for a few days. But I’m pleased with how we got on,” Lampard added.

“I’ve been pleased with the players’ attitude since I arrived last week.”

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