Sunday 26 January 2020

Frank Lampard hints he may turn to January sales to fix Chelsea’s faltering form

Chelsea slipped to consecutive home Premier League defeats for the first time in eight years.

Frank Lampard may be tempted to spend in January (Adam Davy/PA)
Frank Lampard may be tempted to spend in January (Adam Davy/PA)

By Nick Purewal, PA

Frank Lampard has hinted that Chelsea’s stuttering home form could push him towards January recruitment.

Chelsea slipped to consecutive home Premier League defeats for the first time in eight years with the 2-0 loss to Southampton on Boxing Day.

Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond struck to sink the Blues, who suffered their sixth loss in 15 Stamford Bridge matches in all competitions this term.

Chelsea can make January additions after their FIFA transfer ban was lifted on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and manager Lampard has conceded bolstering his squad remains in his thoughts.

Asked if frustrating losses like the Saints defeat would nudge him closer towards the January transfer market, Lampard said: “I learn about the players, particularly in games like that I suppose.

“Games that turn out to be difficult are a test of character as much as they are quality. They are a test of both.

“When it’s all easy after Sunday’s 2-0 win at Tottenham, we were the greatest thing in the world, they were the greatest players and I was a great manager. And today it’s questioned.

“And it’s when you’re questioned that you’ll see the strength of character of someone I’d say.”

Not since successive losses to Arsenal and Liverpool in October and November 2011 had Chelsea tasted back-to-back Premier League defeats at Stamford Bridge.

Willian’s double handed Chelsea a stunning derby win at Spurs on Sunday, with Lampard getting the better of his former Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea had slumped to a 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth before seeing off Spurs however and Lampard admitted the defeat by Southampton pushed his side back to square one.

“It’s the same story as after Bournemouth,” said Lampard. “And the same story of the last few home games.

“I said after Spurs that we need to reproduce that kind of performance.

“And I’ll probably give you the exact same press conference as after Bournemouth to be fair, because it’s exactly the same situation.

“We have to mix up our game and break defensive lines, because teams aren’t stupid.

Games that turn out to be difficult are a test of character as much as they are quality. They are a test of both Frank Lampard

“You can’t have near-on 70 per cent possession and not do more, not hit better crosses and final passes and create more shots on goal.

“Obviously if you’re on a run like we are at home then there’s more pressure because everyone talks about it and we feel it.

“People are respecting us as Chelsea but we’re not playing like the Chelsea that can break that down.”

Southampton have now won four of their last six Premier League matches, leaving boss Ralph Hasenhuttl hailing his players for restoring the right mentality.

The charismatic Austrian leapt onto the pitch when Obafemi put Saints into the lead and while he was sorry for leaving his technical area he made no apology for his passion.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl is delighted with Saints’ form (Nick Potts/PA)

When told he had danced his way onto the pitch to toast Obafemi’s goal, Hasenhuttl replied: “Did I? Sorry for that; sorry for leaving the coaching zone.

“But I was so happy, it was a fantastic goal for Michael. I think for us all it was a fantastic day, because we have to play again in two days.

“So if you go out here and take three points it gives you a mental lift. Now the players will not be that tired.

“We’ve bounced back to our philosophy, in how to be brave and how to defend as a team.

“It’s about showing more responsibility for each player; being much more committed and much more aggressive.”

PA Media

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