Frank Lampard discusses difficulty of preparing Chelsea players for Premier League return after coronavirus outbreak



Chelsea boss Frank Lampard accepts clubs cannot expect players to “push and push” themselves during the coronavirus pandemic with no concrete timetable as to when football will return.

The Blues squad continues to train at home during the lockdown initiated by the government, with an optimistic return date for the Premier League set for 30 April.

Lampard feels there is little else everyone at the club can do but try to stay focused on the bigger picture.


“It is very difficult at the moment, because we have got nothing concrete in front of us,” Lampard said in a FaceTime interview with Chelsea’s official club app.

“We have seen that things can change very quickly, so we can only go by the dates we have been given, at the moment it looks like 1 May or the end of April.

“But daily or probably weekly we are looking at it, saying: ‘Well, how do we train? What does it look like?

“The last thing I want to do at this moment – when the players are in this position, when we don’t know when the games are going to be – is to try and push and push and push [them] for no reason.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is recovering well after testing positive for coronavirus earlier in March, while forward Willian has been given permission by the club to return to Brazil to link up with his family.

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“This situation has obviously been changing frequently from the start and it is all new ground,” Lampard said. “I’ve just let [the players] know that I am there for them individually, because these are tough times, whether it’s emotionally, physically, everything – we have to be there for the players.

“Motivation can be slightly put to the side. I think the motivation at the moment for everyone is how their families are, how their relatives are, how we all see the outside world, and sometimes the realisation probably that there are things which are a lot more important than football.

“However much we love Chelsea and are fortunate to do our jobs, this has certainly hit home for that. For me, my message to the players has always been look after your family at this time.

“The motivation I suppose will come with doing the basic things you do to keep fit and live as well as you can at this moment. Then of course when we can get the group together and concentrate on how this is going to look forward, then the players will be motivated.

“All this has shown that this is a much broader issue and hopefully brings all of us, supporters of different clubs, together – countries, people all around the world.

“We are all in the same situation and trying to stay positive.”

PA



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