Every word Frank Lampard said on Mount’s critics, Werner’s form and Chelsea’s trip to Leicester


Team news ahead of the game?

Andreas Christensen’s available and N’Golo Kante unfortunately isn’t, his hamstring isn’t ready.

Fikayo Tomori, was a regular but now down the pecking order. Why?

I don’t think there’s any ‘when did it start to go wrong’, Fikayo’s a developing player.

As a squad we had four centre-backs last year, and you can’t play four in one game.

And you try to find consistency at different times.

At one point Fikayo was in that, and then later on not so much.

And this year we have five centre-backs, so the predicament is difficult for centre-backs who are not playing regularly.

And that’s why he may go out on loan for his development, he’s a young player and he’s had a huge rise in the last two or so seasons since I’ve been working with him, and that will continue, and we’ll find the best path for that.

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Option to buy for AC Milan, but you want him to come back:

There is no detail, but that’s not been confirmed.

Confidence in the team is short but not with Mason Mount, does that help boost others?

Certainly it can help, because you can see he’s playing with confidence, hence his two goals in the last two games.

His general play is really good.

I keep talking about him a lot, and his work ethic in training is one of those reasons, he keeps his standards high in training every day.

There are things that other players can look at with Mason.

And at the same time it’s clear when you’re in a difficult patch individually or collectively you have to fight and play your way out of it, so you rely on players around you doing their job.

Mason’s doing it at the minute, but we’ve got lots of players like that in forward areas, we just need a kick-start from them, we need to see some numbers, production from the front-end of the pitch.

You look around the Premier League and you see teams that have been successful generally or in good runs have people at the top-end of the pitch that are firing and scoring and assisting.

And we’ve been a bit short of that recently, but it will come back, it will come back.

The players have to fight their way back through those little periods or patches, and at the moment Mason is a good example of someone that’s always fighting, and is playing really well.

Looking ahead to Leicester, where do you think they are in the title race?

They’re in it, for sure. The way they are playing, getting into that position in the league, it is the same as last season.

We managed to get above them at the back end of last season but it is a big ask for us. They are a very good team, very good individuals and a really good coach in Brendan [Rodgers] so we know that they are in the race.

We have to not consider the race as it stands to the minute, we have to consider ourselves as can we get a result against Leicester, who are a competitor up there and see if we can string some wins together that can propel us back up to where we want to be.

But the race is very open, especially in comparison to recent years.

Confidence levels with a win will be raised?

It will certainly help because Leicester are a quality side who get results, so it would help.

But we are not the only team in that position, the examples of yesterday of the top teams coming off it a bit and certain elements of the team are not firing.

It is hard to win games in this league so I don’t want to lean too much on confidence. Itn is part of the picture at the moment but for me, the work ethic and the team really being focused is as important to me as the confidence because the quality of the team is there.

We know the potential is there and it will be unlocked, it is just making sure that we do all the right things to get it back, wherever it may be.

Leicester’s form suggests you’re better playing them away from home?

I don’t know, maybe on form but I don’t think that is directly related.

Sometimes it is the different type of team, one might want more possession, another might want to counter-attack and sit deep and I think Leicester and Brendan have the ability to do both so I am not considering that too much.

Brendan Rodgers, enjoyable to face a friend?

It is and Brendan is a gentleman. He is a good friend and he was very helpful to me in my career as a player, even though he was working more in the academy but whenever he came over it was very clear he would go onto become a great coach in his own right. He has gone on to do that.

I think the jobs that he has done at all his clubs have been really great. Particularly the success he is having of late in the last few years.

So yes, I enjoy going up against him but he is difficult to go up against because he is a really good coach with really good players. At the same time, I have respect for Brendan no matter what.

We will have a tough battle and then bump fists.

Timo Werner’s struggles, how do you get him back on track?

Frank Lampard encourages Timo Werner after Chelsea's win at Fulham
Frank Lampard encourages Timo Werner after Chelsea’s win at Fulham

I don’t want to compare him to anybody. Everybody’s story is different. Fernando Torres had difficult times here and came away winning the Champions League so I don’t think we should compare too much.

All we need to do here at the moment, Timo, myself and teammates around him is to create the best environment to get the best out of Timo, which means himself working hard. Any striker knows – when you see the chances he missed the other day that’s just repetition on the training ground.

Everybody will go through those moments whether you repeat it a thousand times or not. But when you are in that moment you must repeat and keep working. He also needs support around him.

He needs to keep his head up and focus and my job is to support around him and give him positivity and confidence.

Timo Werner didn’t by chance score the amount of goals of the last few seasons. He scored those goals because of his huge talent.

A tough time for him at the moment is a small period in what I believe will be a fantastic career for him going forward at Chelsea. I’ve got no doubts about that. I hope people around him can also see it that way.

Mason Mount is bang in form but still has his critics…

I’m not sure what they are if they are his critics. I’m not sure how anybody could really criticise him of late. I felt it last year.

Last year Mason was playing regularly for us and I felt some of the critics – in the modern world it’s really easy to hear them even if you don’t use social media, you lot ask me about it all the time.

Mason’s type, the type of midfield player he is, he does so much great work for the team off the ball, which I think for nekd eye is not as exciting as an overhead kick or treble step over.

He does all those basics well, he moves the ball so quickly, he’s a great teammate, we’ve seen recently he scores goals, he finds assists, he does all those things so I don’t think it matters if people are critical in any way.

One thing he has got as well is a really great attitude.

He has a really great way of seeming like he is never perturbed by critics outside. The critics are wrong. There is no doubt about that.

Anyone who knows football and watches Mason Mount play understands what an incredible talent he is. He’s just turned 22 . Imagine when he’s 25, imagine when he’s 27. So the critics don’t matter when it comes to Mason.

Can you get back in the title race?

The reason I say about the title race is because I don’t want to look that far [ahead]. There is no reason to say whether we will or not at the moment. We just need to consider the games in front of us and try to win them to push ourselves steadily up the table.

We are not in a bad position, we have had a bad short period of form and if we can put wins together this month then the picture will change very quickly as it has done already this year in so many ways. That’s my point on that one.

Frank Lampard speaks to Callum Hudson-Odoi

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Drinkwater and Tomori leaving means you’re going to bring people in?

In terms of players, I think it is great for Danny to leave and go and play for himself to try and get some games.

With Fikayo, we will see. I am not concerned with getting players out to bring some in at this point. I am trying to make sure the balance of the squad is right and if players do move on then that’s beneficial for them and our squad, I see that as a positive.





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