Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has responded to Blues Champions League draw against Atletico Madrid earlier today in Nyon, Switzerland.
The Blues were paired alongside La Liga table toppers, Atletico Madrid in the round 16 of Europe’s elite club competition after resoundingly finishing top of their group ahead of Sevilla.
The Spanish side have earned a reputation in recent years as one of Europe’s most dreaded sides, having only last season knocked out then champions Liverpool this same stage of the competition.
Lampard has however expressed optimism in his side’s ability to overcome the Spaniards.
The Chelsea boss believes all draws are difficult in the champions league and as such will take on the challenge like any other.Embed from Getty Images
“Most people will say toughest one we could have had. But all draws are difficult in the Champions League. Lampard told the press ahead of Wolves clash tomorrow.
“We have to have belief in ourselves. It is what it is”
“They are top of La Liga. They knocked Liverpool out last year. They have experience and quality. One of the toughest on paper. We need to turn up and do our job” He added.
Lampard could only guide his Chelsea side through to this stage of the competition last season before a 7-1 hammering on aggregate by Bayern Munich, sending the Blues out of the competition yet again in the round 16, having failed to progress beyond the stage since losing to Atletico Madrid in the semi finals 2013/2014.
Frank Lampard provides update on Christian Pulisic’s availability ahead of Tuesday’s gameEmbed from Getty Images
Speaking further on Christian Pulisic hamstring ‘awareness’, Lampard confirmed the winger is fit but is unsure of a start against The Wanderers.
“He was out for injury with his hamstring. He trained on Saturday. He’s in the squad for tomorrow but yet to be decided if he will start or not. It is positive news from the weekend.” he said.
Lampard speaks on if changes would be made due to Ziyech’s absence
On changing tactics with the absence of Hakim Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi, the 42-year-old played down the impact of the formation, insisting on its poor execution.Embed from Getty Images
“Not in the short-term no. We’ve playing well. Hakim has been pivotal and suddenly we’re short on wingers. It’s not the formation at the weekend – it was the way we executed. We have players to comfortably do that.” Lampard said.
Chelsea clearly lacked creativity on the night at Goodison Park, evident of Hakim Ziyech’s absence, with Frank Lampard ruing the team’s inability to find ways around without the injured Moroccan.
“It felt like Everton played like Tottenham did and if people are watching us they will try to stop us from doing what we do well. We need to find other ways and make sure to have ways around teams. He said.
“At our top level we’d have found a way around it. We can’t make an excuse of not having wingers. It’s unfortunate but we have others capable of playing in those areas. Hopefully they are back soon anyway” The Blues boss added.
Getting back to winning waysEmbed from Getty Images
Speaking on getting back to winning ways tomorrow, Lampard stressed on his side’s under-performance at Merseyside on Saturday and the need to bounce back from the defeat.
“The Premier League is unforgiven. We weren’t at our top level Saturday and got beaten. We dropped it for a game.
“It’s up to us to pick it up again straight away. The next game is always the most important one.
“You don’t go to Everton and expect anything if you don’t perform.” He concluded.
The Blues are currently seeking a bounce-back from Saturday’s loss to the Toffees when they face Wolves in what promises to be toe-to-toe encounter at the Molineux Stadium.
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