Defender Wesley Fofana has defended the decision to bring Frank Lampard back to Chelsea and feels he is having a positive influence on the players.
Lampard is now back in the Stamford Bridge dugout after the decision was taken to sack Graham Potter. Potter lasted just seven months at the club having taken over from Thomas Tuchel earlier in the campaign. There was general surprise when Lampard was announced as interim manager until the end of the season.
He had already been sacked as Blues chief back in January 2021. Many pundits felt Todd Boehly would announce a big-name continental manager to replace Potter.
But the American is keeping his powder dry until the summer when one of either Luis Enrique or Julian Nagelsmann is likely to be unveiled.
Until then, Lampard must pick up the pieces of a dreadful campaign by the west Londoners.
They are languishing down in 11th spot in the top-flight table. And they face a monumental task to progress in the Champions League.
Real Madrid will take a 2-0 lead to the Bridge next week in their quarter-final tussle.
The former Everton chief will need to inspire his charges to take down one of Europe’s top clubs.
Despite the scepticism, Fofana is glad to have Lampard in Chelsea’s corner. And the France Under-21 ace has lifted the lid on how the ex-England star has tried to inspire the players.
“He was welcomed back in the best way possible, because he’s Mr. Frank Lampard,” he told Telefoot. “He’s a club legend. He told us to get our confidence back, and play simple football again.
“To get back to the basics, really. His words moved us all, because it’s what we needed, to get our confidence back. And to realise that we’re fighting for a club. We’re fighting for a great club.”
Fofana confident of Champions League progression
The Champions League offers Chelsea the only chance of silverware in an otherwise dreadful campaign.
But, having scored just 30 Premier League goals this term, they have to bag at least two against Los Blancos.
Nevertheless, Fofana feels they can do it. And he cited the way in which Tuchel led the team to European glory just months after Lampard had been dismissed.
“Chelsea have already done it after a difficult season before, with a new coach arriving,” he added.
“They won it in 2021. So I think it’s possible, it’s in the club’s DNA. We’ve had a bad season, we know that.
“Now it’s up to us to show what we’re capable of. There is quality in this squad.”
The omens are not good however, as Lampard has yet to taste victory since returning.
The Blues have lost to Wolves, Real and Brighton under his guidance. And now they must get the better of a club that specialises in winning the Champions League.