Lampard ignores sack talk, wants team to fight

LONDON • Frank Lampard insisted on Friday that he takes no notice of the talk about his future as Chelsea manager, after a poor run that has seen their Premier League title chances slip away.

A limp 2-0 loss to Leicester on Tuesday capped a run of just two wins in eight league games and leaves them 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester United (40).

After a £220 million (S$400 million) spending spree last summer, more was expected and Lampard knows too well that owner Roman Abramovich has no room for sentiment, having played under nine bosses at Stamford Bridge.

High-profile coaches German Thomas Tuchel and Italian Massimiliano Allegri are currently out of work and understood to be keen on the post.

"I don't listen to it," Lampard said before today's FA Cup fourth-round tie with second-tier Luton Town when asked about the comments over his future.

"It's only everywhere if you want to scroll through social media, but I don't do that. I know the pressures that come with managing a top football club, but I just do my job, it doesn't matter to me.

"I'm a fighter first and foremost, it's how I managed to make a career out of the game as a player.

"So when I packed up I could have easily stayed in the media (as a pundit) or left football completely, I didn't need to come back in. I love the job, and I love the fact that if there are tough times you can fight your way out of it."

The 42-year-old added that if he were to turn Chelsea's form around, it will be down to his players' attitude as much as tactics.

"We're talented, we're young. You look at title-winning groups and they have more of the players you rely on week in and week out who have maybe been there and done it a bit more," he said.

"We're fighting on different levels like that. I don't think it's going to be 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 that will win us the games that we need to win in the short term, it will be the passion and the desire and the togetherness of the team."

The Blues are seeking to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the 23rd time in their last 26 attempts. They have not lost to a side from a lower division since 2015, when Bradford City beat them 4-2 in the fourth round.

Midfielder N'Golo Kante and striker Olivier Giroud are minor doubts with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


CHELSEA V LUTON

Singtel Ch111, 7.55pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2021, with the headline 'Lampard ignores sack talk, wants team to fight'. Subscribe