Frank Lampard accepts he is under pressure to turn around Chelsea’s results and says he is not wanting any favours from owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea have lost four of their last six Premier League matches – as many defeats as they had in their previous 23 – with last week’s 3-1 setback against Manchester City leaving them ninth.
The Blues have taken 26 points from their opening 17 league games of 2020-21, three points fewer than at the same stage last season. They have never finished higher than sixth after failing to amass more than 26 points at this stage of a campaign.
Amid reports that Abramovich is lining up candidates to replace Lampard if the barren run continues, the club’s all-time leading goalscorer acknowledges he cannot rely on past success to keep him in the job.
“All I want to concentrate on is the job in hand. I can’t control certain things – I certainly don’t want to rely on anything in the past,” Lampard said.
“All I can look at is what I see right now, and what I see right now is one month ago everything was rosy and now a month later – a very quick time – everyone is looking at it negatively.
“I have to be the one to look at it positively. I can’t control outside of that. I felt huge support from this club coming back to manage them.
“My time as a player I felt huge support for 13 years. In the end I left because they wanted to move on to other things. I understand what football is. I understand the demands and expectations.
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“I don’t think I’ve earned the right for anything that takes me out of that equation. All I can do is be honest about how I see it. I understand there is work to be done here and I understand the position we’re in.
“When you’re young and have had a tough year, plus new players coming in this year that are expected to drop into the Premier League and produce at a young age, there is going to be challenges. That’s all I’ve got to say. The rest is out of my hands.”
Lampard won 11 major honours during his playing days at Chelsea, each of those trophies coming after Abramovich’s takeover of the club in 2003.
“I have to sit here and say when the owner came into Chelsea all those years ago, it made my career,” Lampard added.
“Maybe I would have gone on elsewhere, but fortunately I had an owner who came in and changed the face of the club. It changed my life. But that shouldn’t give me any headstarts.
“I’m here and I think the job I done last year, to get us up to fourth with huge constraints, was a big positive for us. After that now I have to go again.
“I never thought it would be a straight line – I was aware of that coming into the season, particularly when I didn’t have time to work with the players.
“I remember in my first year as a player here I was an average Premier League player, year two I got slightly better, year three better and so on.
“When I look at my players I see it like that. I can’t jump out of that and dictate what others think – that’s beyond me. I’m just here to coach the club as good as I can.”
Chelsea can put their league struggles behind them on Sunday as they turn focus to the FA Cup and a third-round tie with Morecambe.
The Blues have progressed past this stage every season since 1997-98 but Lampard will not allow his players to take their fourth-tier opponents lightly in what will be the first ever meeting between the sides.
“I’ve been involved in games at Chelsea where we have struggled against certain opposition at times,” Lampard said. “I know the feeling going into these games – we have to absolutely apply ourselves going into the game to get the right result.
“If we apply ourselves and our preparation is right then the execution is normally right because of the players we have.
“At the same time we need to realise lower-league teams will raise their game and see it as a huge occasion. They’ll do anything they can to get a result.
“My players are very aware of that, and if they’re not then I’ll make sure they are. This is by no means going to be a comfortable afternoon.”