Lampard hails ‘fantastic' Conte but admits change may be needed at Chelsea

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The former Blues midfielder has no doubt of the Italian’s quality but says the mood of the club has become too negative

Frank Lampard still regards Antonio Conte as a "fantastic manager" but admits Chelsea may well need a change in coach to fix the mentality surrounding the team.

Conte’s first year saw him restore Chelsea to glory, winning the Premier League title after a 10th place finish the year before.

However, the Italian’s second season was a struggle, as the team suffered through a dip in form that saw them crash out of the Champions League and fall in the table.

A late charge for a Champions League spot ultimately fell short, leaving the FA Cup final against Manchester United the Blues only chance at silverware this season.

And though Lampard, who spent 13 seasons with Chelsea, has no doubts about the job Conte has done for the club, he knows it may be time for the relationship to come to an end as the mood surrounding the club has turned negative.

"I think Conte is a fantastic manager,” Lampard told Goal during the BBC Media Day. “He's been brilliant for Chelsea.

“This year has been seen as disappointing, but what he did last year was an absolutely incredible achievement. So, that discussion is going to happen this summer.

“What we need next year for Chelsea is positivity. Looking forward and excitement for what the future holds. This year’s been too negative.

“If either one wants out of that love affair, then that’s going to be a parting of ways."

Regardless of Conte’s eventual fate, which the manager believes has not yet been decided, Chelsea do have a chance to redeem their season slightly if they can defeat rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Sunday.

Lampard sees a great deal of similarities between the two sides, in their impressive collection of stars as well as their recent dips in form.

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"It’s a tough game,” Lampard said. “I think it’s a hard one to call.

“I think it’s two teams that have not been at their best in recent weeks in terms of performance. But two teams that have big players that can win games.

“So I expect it to be a tight final and I’m hopeful Chelsea win, with my Chelsea hat on."

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