Lampard issues warning after emphatic display sees Chelsea swat Everton aside
Frank Lampard is determined for Chelsea not to get carried away after a thrilling week which saw the elimination of Liverpool in the FA Cup and a 4-0 rout of Everton.
The Blues were imperious against an admittedly poor showing from Carlo Ancelotti's side.
The manner of the victory, the quality of the goals, the excellence of midfielder Billy Gilmour on his league debut and the excitement of youthful talent coming off the bench – in the shape of Faustino Anjorin and Armando Broja - contributed to a heady brew.
But the Chelsea boss warned: “I don't think we're there yet.
“It would be easy for me to say [we are] after today that but I'd much rather say that midway through May, because to think that we're there and to think that we've got over the issues we might have had at home here would probably be over-confident.
“I think we are improving in big degrees. We have to keep working. I see a bigger picture, because I think we have a gap upwards which is big with Liverpool, in terms of points.
“At the minute, it feels like we're working in the right direction. But there's so much to do.”
Lampard added that the Blues have sometimes lacked the end product that was in evidence against the Toffeemen.
“We've played some really good stuff at times here, with energy, and we haven't got the last bit, which is the hard bit, the unpredictable bit with the goals that make a performance more and more comfortable,” he said. “Today we had that.
“I think we've reached [good] levels but today it all came together, the finishing, the energy in the team, the passing, the speed of pass, getting after the ball and winning it back.
“There's a lot of work to be done but it's even better to say that after a good performance. We need to keep our feet on the ground but today we saw some really good stuff.
“The whole attitude and focus of the team felt really strong to me. Today there was pure focus within the group. The application was spot-on.”
Lampard is keen to stress he is aiming for balance rather than an over-reliance on youth, in spite of the many young talents breaking through this season.
He singled out Gilmour and Olivier Giroud for being part of that blend he is seeking.
“I think the younger players have injected an energy to the squad, the club and to the fans. You can see their reaction to Billy Gilmour, for instance,” Lampard said. “But we also rely on the energy and nous of the more experienced players.”
Speaking of Giroud, he said: “When you know his attributes, you work around that. He's playing really well. He's fantastic in the dressing room. Throughout the difficult time in January when nobody was sure where we were going, he was brilliant and I've got complete respect for him for that and now he's playing really well on the pitch. He's a personality and we need that.”
And he said of Gilmour's defensive midfield work: “He's receiving the ball in difficult areas of the pitch where, if you don't move it quickly you don't get the rhythm of our play and it breaks down from you. And if you give it away in those areas, it's dangerous, so you need confidence to do that.”