Chelsea boss Lampard explains ‘important’ Lewis Hall decision; Everton staying up ‘not his concern’

·3-min read
Frank Lampard gestures during a match Credit: Alamy
Frank Lampard gestures during a match Credit: Alamy

Frank Lampard says he is not thinking about Chelsea’s ability to impact the title race, top four race and relegation battle between now and the end of the season.

The Blues are only playing for pride with a bottom-half finish on the cards. However, every match they have coming up has huge implications for their opponents.

Lampard’s men host relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon before matches against title-chasing Manchester City and top-four hopefuls Newcastle United and Manchester United.

“It’s our consequence which we think about,” Lampard responded when asked about the chance to define other team’s seasons.

“Everton’s fate is in their hands and I had a really enjoyable time there. It’s not my concern as Chelsea manager.”

On facing Nottingham Forest, he added: “It’s a big test. We have to give them complete respect.

“They have an effective way of playing. They are very threatening in terms of set pieces and fighting for everything.

“(Our) Form has not been great and it can build up some nervousness among players and fans.”

Lampard confirmed that Ben Chilwell remains out alongside England teammates Mason Mount and Reece James.

One player who is available is N’Golo Kante – who recently spoke of his desire to stay at Stamford Bridge with his contract set to expire this summer.

“I have no understanding (of Kante’s situation),” Lampard said.

“Every game he has played with us is similar to N’Golo’s level. He has been a huge asset to the club.”

Lampard had lost all six of his opening matches in charge of the Blues this season but picked up a huge win at Bournemouth last week.

Discussing what has been missing before the win and the change in mood this week, the former Chelsea midfielder said: “When you take chances you can win games. We were clinical (vs Bournemouth).

“If you can’t do that it is very hard to get into the top half. It has to be developed, worked on and recruited. The performance was good but it is not exactly where we want to be.

“I think in football it can but we cannot get carried away with a win. In terms of where we want to be it is a small step.

“Another game comes in the Premier League against a team fighting for their lives.”

One big talking point of Lampard’s pre-match press conference was Lewis Hall.

Chelsea have not granted Hall permission to represent England at the Under-20 World Cup with Marc Cucurella and Chilwell both injured.

Lampard has confirmed that the 18-year-old will be given game time in the Blues’ last four games of the season.

“He wanted to play for his country but that is a good thing,” he said. “But also he has come through this academy and is desperate to play.

“It doesn’t make sense but from our point of view, having the power of keeping our player is important.

“Lewis has a chance. I was tempted to put him on last week but the experience of (Cesar Azpilicueta) Azpi was more suitable.

“He is a very good player, a really talented player. He needs to come out of himself a bit more. I have been really impressed and he is in the running for the last four games.”

Lampard also said there is no update on his future.

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