Frank Lampard is hoping his Chelsea players are ‘inspired’ by Liverpool’s title celebrations this evening as the club look to bridge the gap to the newly-crowned champions.
Chelsea travel to Merseyside to face the title winners tonight in a fixture that will be followed by Liverpool‘s official presentation of the Premier League trophy, Jurgen Klopp’s side having ended the Reds’ three decade wait to be crowned champions of England.
Lampard’s side will give the home side the traditional guard of honour ahead of the clash and the Chelsea boss hopes his players will use the moment as a source of motivation to bring future success to Stamford Bridge.
“I never felt the idea of it hurting too much,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “There is a respect and I don’t think players should be hurt from it. They should be inspired. I’m not going to pin them to the ground and say: ‘You must stare at this.’
“It will be Liverpool’s day lifting the trophy. If there’s a small bit of the players standing there clapping and thinking: ‘I hope this is us in the next two or three years,’ then I’m very happy and that’s the way it should be.”
Chelsea currently sit third in the Premier League and need just three points from their final two fixtures to be assured of a place in next season’s Champions League. Lampard’s side have retained a position in the top four for much of the season despite some inconsistent periods, and the Blues’ boss has pointed to the improvement of tonight’s opponents as evidence his side can challenge with consistency.
The stage is set for Liverpool to lift the Premier League title at Anfield 🏆 🔴 pic.twitter.com/SUPcqBvwqA
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 22, 2020
“I remember Liverpool being less consistent in those early days and what you have to have then is a consistency in your own work,” he said. “There will be tough times but you have to believe in what you’re doing. There can be improvement in small parts every day.”
Optimism has been raised ahead of next season following an early exciting summer of recruitment for Chelsea, the club having already confirmed the captures of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.
Lampard is confident the new additions can help his side ‘close the gap’ to the division’s best sides but has warned the duo may take time to settle to the demands of English football.
“Where we have younger players they’re not going to just come up from pre-season and be vastly more experienced. Players that we are bringing in – we brought two in already – we have to allow the idea that it may take time to settle.
“We’ll work against it. We want to close the gap. I’m not here to try and bide time; I’m here to try and get as quickly as we can to where we want to be. But we have to understand that there may be a bit more work in progress.”