The Chelsea veteran has been left out of the starting lineup for the last three games, but the Blues' boss insists the midfielder remains an integral part of his plans.Roberto Di Matteo has underlined the importance of Frank Lampard to Chelsea and has indicated that he could come back into the side to face Nordsjaelland in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League encounter.
The 34-year-old veteran was left out for the Blues' last match in the Champions League, a 2-2 draw with Juventus, and he has also been on the bench for recent games against Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal. Nevertheless, Di Matteo still has faith in the player who has been a staple for Chelsea for years.
"He is a very important player for us. I've had conversations with him, which I do on a regular basis," Di Matteo told the club's official website. "I like to exchange opinions, and he is very supportive of the team when he is not in it, and when he is in it he is a great performer.
"We're fortunate to have a very strong squad with very good players. Going forward with a busy schedule it's important we can use these players."
Di Matteo also hinted that Lampard will be given the freedom to roam from box-to-box in the center of the park, despite the former West Ham man typically lying deep in the Blues' 4-2-3-1 formation.
"He's been playing that role, but I don't think I've ever taken [the forward running] away from him or said he's not allowed to," Di Matteo said. "It's his strength, but in that role sometimes we need to be disciplined and it's important for the balance of the team. He's played magnificently last season and this season too so there are no concerns about him."