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'I can handle the pressure,' says Lampard after Chelsea lose again at Leicester

Paul Doyle at the King Power Stadium
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Frank Lampard shrugged off questions about his managerial future after Chelsea were beaten 2-0 at Leicester, their fifth defeat in eight league matches.

“I can’t get caught up in what the reaction will be because I’d be sitting here all day concerned about it,” said Lampard of suggestions that time is running out for him to show improvement at Chelsea. “I’m not the only manager to be put under this pressure but the good thing for me is I’m good at handling pressure.”

Lampard seemed to cast doubts on the ability of some of his players to handle that pressure. He criticised his team’s defending for Leicester’s two goals and condemned the complacency that he believes led to Chelsea’s poor recent form and the “lack of desire” that is keeping them in a rut.

Related: Leicester go top of Premier League after Ndidi and Maddison cut down Chelsea

“The general theme [against Leicester] was slower, more sluggish. It was lacking confidence but also lacking a bit of desire to run. When a team is confident, they look like Leicester. Or like we did a month ago. The very clear message to the players is when you’re playing well, if you relax a little bit, then this game kicks you right up the backside.

“There are players who are not playing as well as they should be,” he continued. “They are the only ones who can deal with that. How you handle setbacks is what defines you.”

Lampard also fended off criticism about the frequent changes to his team selections. “I see that mentioned a lot. We’re not the finished article. You can’t just conjure up the best team. Players have to make a spot their own. In an ideal world it would be very easy not to change the team. When you’re searching for performances and individual improvements, its normal that a team doesn’t pick itself. I took this job knowing there would be difficult times.”

Leicester were a perfect contrast to Chelsea, fully worthy of a win that took them to the top of the league

Brendan Rodgers said it is too early to start talking about his team winning the title. “It shows in the first part of the season consistency has been good and performance levels have been very high,” he said. “I don’t really think about [the title]. We’ve seen changes at the top all season.

“A few weeks ago Tottenham were up there, and then everyone was talking about Chelsea. Liverpool are amazing champions and Manchester United have been great. To look and see Leicester in around that is makes you really happy, but to stay there is going to be a huge challenge for us.”