London (AFP) – Frank Lampard is relishing the prospect of leading Chelsea out of a poor run of Premier League form.
The 42-year-old former England midfielder’s future at Stamford Bridge has become a hot topic, with Chelsea having lost five of their last eight league matches.
Lampard’s emerging side are at home to Luton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday and a further slip-up against the Hatters will only add to the pressure on the Chelsea manager.
But the former Chelsea and England midfielder told reporters on Friday: “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 or left football completely, I didn’t need to come back in.”
He added: “I love the job, and I love the fact that if there are tough times you can fight your way out of it.
“And I’m not just talking about me I’m talking about the players now, because at the minute we know we’re not firing.
“Coming through a tough time, it’s the best feeling in football, it’s the best feeling you can possibly have. And it would make this talented squad.”
– ‘Fight is important’ –
Lampard said that turning Chelsea’s form around was down to attitude as much as tactics.
“We’re talented, we’re young. You look at title-winning groups and they maybe 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.
“But at the same time ‘fight’ is an important word in football, so there’s no doubt we have to put a lot of things to the side.
“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.
“There are a few things we need to get back to, but I’m absolutely confident in that.”
While the likes of Thomas Tuchel and Max Allegri have already been touted as potential replacements for Lampard in west London, Chelsea’s current manager has no doubt he can withstand the pressure that comes with being in charge of a high-profile club.
“As a player here I always wondered, because I wanted to be a manager, I always looked at managers and wondered what tough times looked like,” said Lampard.
“I wondered what did they feel like, how was the responsibility different from a player, and what did good times feel like.
“Fortunately in the 18 months I’ve been here I’ve managed to go through those different levels.
“I always thought what did the tough times look like, and it’s fine.
“And now I know that all the talk is nonsense. It’s only the action that matters.
“So all I’ll control is what’s in front of me.”
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