Frank Lampard admits he is keen to distance himself from speculation surrounding his future at Chelsea following the defeat to Leicester City but has told the club’s hierarchy that the current squad is ‘not ready’ to compete for the Premier League title.
The 2-0 defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ side on Tuesday evening has left Chelsea eighth in the Premier League and nine points off top spot.
The result has piled even more pressure on Lampard, whose side have been beaten five times in their last eight Premier League games.
‘I try not to sense any of that because I can’t control it,’ Lampard replied when asked about his future after the defeat to Leicester.
‘I don’t think this is the first time I’ve been asked this, I’ve been asked this over the last few weeks.
‘From the minute of being 16 unbeaten we lost two on the bounce and I started to be asked similar questions, and I understand it because the expectations of this club. Whether I think it’s right or wrong.
‘We’re certainly not, and I said this in my pre-match [press conference], we’re not in a position at Chelsea that we were in periods where we were winning leagues.
‘The squad consistency is not the same, the players, the level, the robustness, the experience of winning Premier Leagues, is not the same. The ability of players who can get you results, particularly at the top of the pitch in a tight game, or defend, not like we did today for the two goals, is not quite there. It’s a developing team.
‘But I can’t get caught up in what the reaction will be because I’ll be sitting all day concerned about it.
‘I took this job knowing there will be difficult times because it’s not a club ready to compete.
‘We had a ban, we have young players, at the minute we have new players and we can see the new and younger players are striving for form and to be settled into this team. So at the minute we just have to fight.
“Where everything was rosy in early, mid-December, it’s not so rosy now. We’re not the only team to suffer that situation. I’m not the only manager to be put under this sort of pressure. The lucky thing for me is that I’m good at handling pressure. I don’t like it, I want to win games, I want everyone to be talking about how we’re moving towards the top of the league like we were a month ago.
‘But the reality is for me is that I could sense these periods would come. And that’s all I have to concern myself with is how to deal with it how to get us out of it.’