…… Lampard’s message to the fans, first impression of the squad and Mount update
Speaking to the media after being confirmed as Chelsea’s caretaker manager, Frank Lampard shared his first impressions of his new squad and the message he would like to give the Blues supporters.
Frank Lampard, who is beginning his second spell in the Chelsea dug-out, in addition to his illustrious playing career at Stamford Bridge, was confirmed in his new role today, meaning he is yet to have a chance to lead his team in training at Cobham ahead of his first match at Wolverhampton Wanderers in Saturday’s Premier League fixture.
However, he was in the stands at the Bridge on Tuesday evening to witness our 0-0 draw with Liverpool and discussed what he expects to find in his squad, as well as one of the most pressing issues he will want to address.
‘I was at the game on Tuesday night, I know there’s a lot of talent in this squad, not just the players who played on Tuesday but generally,’ said Lampard. ‘I’m excited to work with that talent and help them and that’s why I’m here.
‘Modern day football has big squads and I understand that Chelsea might be at the top end of that. I remember being here before and I had lots of difficult decisions with really good players and people you have to tell they aren’t involved this week. Part of the job is to try to manage that situation and make every player feel included.
‘Maybe at the beginning going into this that’s a positive for me, because everybody can have a clean slate right now and show what they can do in training, be competitive in training with a competitive nature that will then cross over onto the pitch. That’s the good thing about a squad, you push each other and I’ll try to manage that.
‘In terms of goal scoring, there’s no genius answer by a coach to explain about scoring goals. You can set up the structure of a team, work to get a team in a dominant area of the pitch a lot and we saw that against Liverpool, a lot of good chances. All I’ll do here is work with repetition on the training ground, in terms of speaking with the players. Fortunately it was a big part of my game. That’s not comparing anything, that’s just understanding the mindset that it takes to be that aggressive, cold-hearted nature to want to score goals. I know the players will have that, it’s just a case of directing that in the right way.’
Wolves vs Chelsea Lampard’s message to the fans
Before he takes to the dug-out in front of the Chelsea supporters again at Molineux on Saturday, Lampard was asked if there was anything he would like to say to the Blues fans, who he has always enjoyed a good relationship with from his days as a player in west London.
‘I’m very thankful for the ones that are delighted I am back. If there are some that aren’t delighted, they can know I will work my utmost to get the team to where I want it to be and to give them a team they’re proud of.
‘Without wanting it to sound too casual, I don’t think I need to speak too much about my relationship with the Chelsea fans. I played here for 13 years, I coached here, I had a lot of incredible moments and some difficult moments, because that’s football, but from the moment I joined this club many years ago they’ve been a huge support to me and I’m forever thankful for that.
‘So if I can be here, if I can help this club and we can come together, we can feel those days and nights at Stamford Bridge and feel the energy in this period of the season, that’s what I’m here to try to do.’
Wolves vs Chelsea Mason Mount update
One member of the current Chelsea squad who Lampard already knows well is Mason Mount, who our new caretaker manager handed a Blues debut in 2019, having previously worked together at Derby County.
Mount has had issues with injury this season, but Lampard is hopeful of having the Academy graduate back on the pitch and performing at his best soon.
‘Mason has always been a fantastic player for me, from my days at Derby, the impact he had there, to when I came back to Chelsea. It’s with absolute pleasure that I’ve watched him and others that I coached in that period – like Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and others – to have gone and been huge players either here or elsewhere.
‘With Mason I know he’s had a few slight injury problems as I understand it. The important thing for me will be to talk to him and find out where he’s at but I know what I get from Mason. So I just want to see him perform on the pitch and we have a good relationship so we’ll talk a lot. I think he’s a huge player for Chelsea and has been during his time here.’
Wolves vs Chelsea injury list
Cesar Azpilicueta has been unavailable since going off with a head injury against Southampton in February. Thiago Silva and Armando Broja remain out of action as they continue their rehabilitation from injury, while there are doubts over the availability of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who also missed the mid-week draw with Liverpool.
Wolves’ Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho have both been ruled out for the remainder of this season with serious knee injuries. Boubacar Traore and Hwang Hee-Chan also missed their last game, but it is hoped they could return at Stamford Bridge.
Wolves vs Chelsea suspension
Wolverhampton Wanderers have Ruben Neves suspended for this game after picking up his 10th booking of the season in their 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, as is Jonny Otto after receiving a straight red card in their previous match against Leeds United. There are no Chelsea players ruled out by suspension.
Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including our 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.
Premier League booking list
Kovacic 6, Gallagher 5, Koulibaly 5, Havertz 4, James 4, Mount 4, Azpilicueta 3, Chalobah 3, Cucurella 3, Sterling 3, Chilwell 2, W Fofana 2, Aubameyang 1, Badiashile 1, Enzo 1, Hall 1, Kepa 1, Loftus-Cheek 1, Mendy 1, Pulisic 1, Thiago Silva 1, Ziyech 1
Wolves vs Chelsea referee and VAR
Referee: Peter Bankes
VAR: Andy Madley
This will be Peter Bankes’ third Premier League game featuring Chelsea this season, having also overseen our 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace and 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, both in January.