• by Yann Tear

Lampard looking for reaction against Aston Villa after Hammers blow


Frank Lampard says defeat to West Ham is not the end of the world – as long as it inspires a reaction against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

The Blues were well below their best against the Hammers. They missed Tammy Abraham, who picked up a hip injury at Valencia in midweek, and they look uninspired against dogged and disciplined opponents. The effort put in in Spain appeared to have drained their batteries.

They could have few complaints about the 1-0 reverse, which was their first at home to West Ham for 17 years.

But the Chelsea boss is confident his players will bounce back this week.

“I don't think this will be the worst thing for us, as long as we react in the right way, “ Lampard said.

“I keep hearing positive, great stories about us over the last six to eight weeks but I always try to close my ears to them. I don't like them because I understand what this league is and the fight we are in over the course of a season, and there will be moments like this.

“We're never going to come through a season as invincibles or anything like that. It's not going to be the way. So when these moments come, they're little tests for all of us and we have to pass them.

“Today was one of those days so I don't think there's any time for harsh reactions and judgements across individuals or the team, as far as I see it. It's time to look for a bit of character to see how our reaction is against Aston Villa.”

Lampard admits the depth of the squad is bound to be called into question this season, saying: “You look at it today and of course we made some changes and we didn't perform as well as we wanted to so there will questions asked of us from the outside and it's questions that I will want to ask for myself.

“But I do believe in this squad and I think we've shown some great stuff this season. I've not had to sit here many times and say we were below par.

“We're not going to get through this season with the same 10 or 11 players. I think the team we had out there for sure had the quality to go and win this game but the fact we performed below par is the reason that we didn't. We didn't do enough in the final third. We need to be more inventive and generally we have been this season.

“My gripe this season has been more that we're not converting enough of the chances we are making but today wasn't quite that – we weren't creating enough.

“Collectively we can do more going forward and manage a game like this better.”

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