Frank Lampard has vowed to continue fighting to keep his job and to get Chelsea upwardly mobile after insisting he has the fighting spirit to help the Blues find their way out of their Premier League slump.
The Blues have slipped to eighth and are now five points short of Liverpool in fourth after five defeats in eight games.
That has led to speculation that Lampard could be on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge.
The under-pressure Chelsea boss, however, is prepared to grit his teeth and come out fighting. He showed that intent by strongly rebuking a journalist working for The Athletic in Friday’s press conference.
Chelsea will host Luton in the FA Cup fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. And Lampard is likely to field a strong line-up in a bid to get back to form.
Having received some timely family support from cousin Jamie Redknapp, Lampard has pledged to graft his – and Chelsea’s – way out of trouble.
“I’m a fighter first and foremost. It’s how I managed to make a career out of the game as a player,” said Lampard.
“So when I packed up I could have easily stayed in the media or left football completely. I didn’t need to come back in.
“I’ve come in with a desire to be successful, and I didn’t have the blinkers on. I knew there would be tough times, there would be things you can’t control like you did as a player.
“I love the job, and I love the fact that if there are tough times you can fight your way out of it.
“And I’m not just talking about me I’m talking about the players now. At the minute we know we’re not firing.
“Coming through a tough time, it’s the best feeling in football, it’s the best feeling you can possibly have. And it would make this talented squad.
“We’re talented, we’re young. You look at title-winning groups and they maybe have more of the players you rely on week in and week out who have maybe been there and done it a bit more.
“We’re fighting on different levels like that.
“But at the same time fight is an important word in football. There’s no doubt we have to put a lot of things to the side.
“I don’t think it’s going to be 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 that will win us the games that we need to win in the short-term, it will be the passion and the desire and the togetherness of the team.
“There are a few things we need to get back to, but I’m absolutely confident in that.”
Lampard on Tuchel, Allegri speculation
The likes of Thomas Tuchel and Max Allegri have already been touted as potential replacements for Lampard.
That said, despite being aware of the names being linked, Lampard has moved to dismiss speculation about his future out of hand.
In fact, Lampard insists he can cope with the intense pressure and scrutiny of a top Premier League job.
“As a player here I always wondered, because I wanted to be a manager. I always looked at managers and wondered what tough times looked like,” said Lampard.
“I wondered what did they feel like, how was the responsibility different from a player, and what did good times feel like.
“Fortunately in the 18 months I’ve been here I’ve managed to go through those different levels.
“I always thought what did the tough times look like, and it’s fine.
“And now I know that all the talk is nonsense. It’s only the action that matters.
“So all I’ll control is what’s in front of me.”