Gilmour lauded by Lampard, as Chelsea show 'mental toughness' to oust Liverpool
Frank Lampard described the performance of Billy Gilmour as 'immaculate' in Chelsea's FA Cup triumph over Liverpool.
It might be stretching it to claim it as a coming-of-age display from the diminutive midfielder in Tuesday night's 2-0 win, but it was an assured contribution from the 18-year-old, in what was his first start for the club outside of the League Cup.
Gilmour sat in front of the defence and made a nuisance of himself and given the quality of the opposition, the Scot could afford himself a glow of satisfaction after completing the 90 minutes.
“Billy showed today that he is absolutely comfortable at this level, now,” said the Chelsea boss.
“I am the first not to get carried away but if he can play like he played tonight then he is comfortable at the level he can get himself around the team now. The players know that. They can sense good players.
“He has trained with us all year. The reason he moved from academy to the first team building, trained with us all the time and started against Liverpool is because he of how good a player he is. That’s all his doing.
“He has absolutely done himself no problems tonight. He put in an immaculate performance, brilliant performance.”
Lampard added: “I’ve got absolute trust in Billy. I remember when we drew against Sheffield United and we drew and people said after the game: 'This kid looks like a 15 year old'. But I’ve no problem with him because if he is small in stature he is huge in personality and talent.
“For me when I look at a midfield player, I have lots of questions. Does he want to receive the ball in all positions? Yes he does. Do you make angles and does he pick the right pass? Yes he generally does. Will he put his foot in? Yes he does. And he is humble. “All his family were here tonight, I think his nan and grandad were down from Scotland. What a performance. Not just as a youngster coming to the team, that's one level, he performed like a top class player going up against top class players. It was great for Billy." Lampard had plenty to be happy about as Chelsea booked a quarter-final place, not least the mental toughness, which he said had been touched upon in a recent team meeting. “I just felt we needed a general meeting on where we want to get to and the realisation of the work it will take to get us there, he said. “We're not Chelsea of different eras gone by with Hazards, Costas, Terrys and Drogbas. We’re in a different place. We’ve got younger players and some older players. We’re in a different place and trying too bridge a gap upwards. “It’s important to know that unless we work hard every day in training, unless we behave well and go home thinking how we can be better as a group, we can’t make that jump up. "Our issue has been in both boxes and sometimes there is a mental side to that. Our issue has been in parts of games we have moments and conceded two goals like we did against Bayern Munich. "So it was trying to take that on, the mental issue. and all the players agreed, we all said the same and that's a good start. But that is not the end. Beating Liverpool is not the end, we have to replicate it again and again."