Lampard calls on Chelsea kids to 'step up' as he takes reins under transfer ban

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The Blues boss has been widely touted as a promoter of youth but he has given more details on his plans ahead of next season

Frank Lampard called on Chelsea's academy players to stand up and be counted during the FIFA transfer ban as he was unveiled as their new manager on Thursday.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James could well be recalled, after spending 2018-19 on loan, to join the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek next season in the Blues first team.

They will have to prove themselves on pre-season as Lampard assesses who will make the grade over seven matches, beginning with a trip to Dublin over the weekend for Lampard's first matches and training sessions.

Lampard says that he expects some of his young charges to sink and others to swim on one of the biggest stages in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, although the talent of his loan stars makes him not fearful of his inability to sign players.

"The bonus is I’ll have quite a calm July," Lampard said of his side's transfer ban. "At Derby last year, every day agents were ringing me all over the place. It’s quite a nice footing for me. If I came into a squad I felt was short that would be a huge problem, I don’t think it is.

"It does change the landscape slightly, of course, because we’ll see teams improve. Man City have broken their record. Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham are buying players. Teams are going to improve. The important thing for us is not to focus on what everyone else is doing it’s what we can do here.

"I’m new into the hot seat. I know we’ve got a good squad and a lot of really good young talent. That’s certainly becomes a big focus of the year. First is to be competitive, but second, can we put some faith in the young players and see if they can get into the first team and show what they can do.

"I believe there are some there, not all of them, some might try and it might not work, it’s also a test for the older players to rise to that as well. I think the motivation should be there [for youngsters to breakthrough], but I understand that if a door can seem locked for a long time then it can affect young players.

"I have spoken about it and I will make it very clear going in that the door is open if you prove that you are good enough, but I do think the motivation should be there. Hopefully, that will be a nice way to start the season, talk to the young lads and if they have had a foot in the first-team or not they should use that.

"The reality is we should be competing no matter what and my job is to try and find a balance between the players that think they are in the first-team squad and the players breaking through. There is no use me sitting here and saying I'm going to play all the young players.

Frank Lampard Mason Mount Derby County 2018-19

"They have to show individually they can do it so the balance from me will be to remain competitive and bring them through. Every manager has their own idea whether they think they don't want to know about young players too much and this is my first-team squad.

"My eyes will always be open to the young players but they have to show they are good enough because we can't lower our levels too much. This is Chelsea so I am not going to be doing young boys favours and put them in the team.

"They need to prove themselves to get in the team and if they can do that I will be proud because it will be what I see as a big part of my job this year."

The 41-year-old's appointment as Chelsea manager is a popular one due to his status at the club, having become the all-time leading scorer in west London with 211 goals. Those strikes contributed to the most glorious period in the club's history, with Lampard having lifted a host of major trophies during his 11-year spell including multiple Premier League titles and glory in the Champions League.

Having worked under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo, as a manager Lampard has so far opted to use the youngest squad last season in the Championship with Derby County and at Chelsea, he is also likely to reduce the age of his playing staff.

Lampard is also keen on a softer style of man-management and detailed that he will trust his players to look after their own diets and habits off the field.
 
"What we did at Derby and I will bring here is that I will have a respect for the players and they should behave like professionals. We will lay out everything. And the sports science, nutrition, medical, everything like that is spot on here. I know that from being here.

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Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019
 
"So there are no excuses. To get a top performance the players have to live right. They have to train hard and rest well and if they don’t it becomes evident. I’m a manager who has faith to a point but if I see it’s not being done.

"It’s not about ketchup. I’m not banning tomato ketchup. They go home and they can have a whole tub of it, I’ll never know that. But if I see it showing on the training pitch, I would be strong on that because I think it’s important.

"When you’re dealing with small differences at the top of the league – and last year there was a gap to the top boys – then you have to try and bridge the gap."

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