Lampard calls on quiet Chelsea players to turn up the volume
Frank Lampard has urged his Chelsea players to turn up the volume as they attempt to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United that put Champions League qualification back in the balance.
Despite Leicester City’s capitulation at Bournemouth, Chelsea cannot afford another slip against relegated Norwich City tonight after Manchester City’s Champions League ban was overturned yesterday.
Chelsea have conceded the most goals of any club in the top 10, with Lampard admitting he is yet to find the right balance at the back. He also wants his team to become more vocal with one another.
“It’s something I picked up before, something I talk about with the players and one of the easiest things to do on the pitch,” said Lampard.
“We have to get better at that and it’s something I drill into them, particularly now where you can hear it because the stadiums are different.”
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta and defender Antonio Rudiger are Chelsea’s main talkers, and Lampard added: “You can be as quiet as you want off the pitch, but they must come out of that on the pitch.”
Chelsea also need to improve their defensive record and Lampard said: “A lot of the goals (we concede) are the balls that come into our box that we don’t defend right. I feel I know the answers to it. Some of it is work and that’s something we will see and it’s part of the process we are in. I hate conceding goals, but we have to work harder.”
Lampard, who has rotated his defenders throughout the season, added: “I don’t want players to think they will be out of the team if they make one mistake, so there is a balance. But we haven’t found that partnership in that area and that’s something we’re striving for.”
N’Golo Kante will be absent for Chelsea with a hamstring injury.
The France midfielder remains sidelined for tonight’s crucial encounter, but could yet be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
Defender Andreas Christensen came off at half-time in the 3-0 loss at Sheffield United, but has shaken off a knock.
Norwich will be without Ondrej Duda at Stamford Bridge after he was given permission to return to his parent club Hertha Berlin.
Cork striker Adam Idah has been included in the Canaries’ provisional squad.