Football: Winless Lampard feeling the Blues

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (left) and his assistant Jody Morris bemoan a wasted opportunity in last week's 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Lampard has been accused of being too gung-ho in his tactical approach.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (left) and his assistant Jody Morris bemoan a wasted opportunity in last week's 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Lampard has been accused of being too gung-ho in his tactical approach. PHOTO: REUTERS

Chelsea boss under pressure as his team are winless, but says they must remain confident

LONDON • Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admits he is feeling the pressure after going winless in his first three competitive games in charge, but urged his side to stay confident ahead of today's Premier League match at Norwich.

The 41-year-old was not handed an easy start to life at his old club, with a trip to Manchester United followed by Liverpool in the Uefa Super Cup, and the visit of an ambitious Leicester side to Stamford Bridge last weekend.

He lost the first two matches - 4-0 to United and 5-4 on penalties to Liverpool - while he was also denied by Wilfred Ndidi in the 1-1 draw with the Foxes.

Asked at his press conference yesterday if he was worried, he said: "Always, because you want to win every game.

"Everyone has a tough job in this league. We all have our issues.

"We are not where we want to be yet, it is not easy to change everything in one go. You have to keep working hard. We will continue to get better."

Lampard, who had just a year's managerial experience at second-tier Derby before being appointed as Chelsea boss, knows today's opponents well.

NOT THERE YET

Everyone has a tough job in this league. We all have our issues. We are not where we want to be yet, it is not easy to change everything in one go. You have to keep working hard.

FRANK LAMPARD, Chelsea manager, on whether he was worried

"They have a very good team. A great act to follow in the Championship and I have been impressed to see them carry that on," he said of the newly promoted side.

"We want to win of course, we must remain confident. We want to win the game but must be respectful of them. I know the dangers that they have."

Lampard, who also confirmed that midfielder N'Golo Kante is a doubt owing to an ankle injury, has been accused of being too gung-ho in his tactical approach as both United and Leicester cut Chelsea open on the counter-attack.

If he cannot tailor his approach, Norwich have a striker in form ready to take advantage.

Teemu Pukki has scored four times in his first two Premier League appearances, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Newcastle last weekend.

The "Pukki Party" - as it is becoming known on social media - is just getting started and Lampard must be wary.

The Finn is the first player to score that many in his first two games in the EPL, and not for 21 years had a player scored a hat-trick on his first home appearance.

"He finds the space. He knows when the time is right to go forward and when to stay," said Jari-Pekka Gummerus, who was a junior coach when a 12-year-old Pukki joined KTP, a club from the Finnish town of Kotka.

"The moves he made, the amount of goals he scored, it was exceptional. You thought, 'OK, this guy has something else'."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2019, with the headline 'Lampard feeling the blues'. Print Edition | Subscribe