Belfast Telegraph

Lampard keeps lid on Chelsea blues

Frank Lampard has insisted he would never storm off if his game time at Chelsea continued to be limited, despite admitting he was unhappy to be left out of the side by Andre Villas-Boas.

Lampard's future has been in the spotlight this month, with the midfielder finding himself starting on the bench at Stamford Bridge on top of losing his place in the England side. Tuesday night saw Blues boss Villas-Boas forced to rubbish reports he had stormed down the tunnel in Saturday's Barclays Premier League victory against Swansea.

Lampard told the Evening Standard: "Storm off? Listen, I won't do that. I am very fortunate that I have had 10 years at Chelsea where I have been part of a fantastic group and we have been successful. I love the club, I love the fans. I feel great support from them for every moment."

With talk of player revolts dominating the sporting agenda, Lampard proved he was a fighter, not a sulker, when he marked his return to the Chelsea side with a superb performance in the 1-1 Champions League draw at Valencia.

It looked like being been a matchwinning display, too, until Villas-Boas' decision to replace his fellow 33-year-old with Salomon Kalou for the final seven minutes at the Mestalla backfired spectacularly, with the forward conceding a needless penalty.

If Lampard's muted reaction to his first goal from open play this season was meant to be a message to his critics - and possibly his manager - his response to his substitution was one of utmost professionalism.

Lampard, who took part in a half-hour workout on the Stamford Bridge pitch after being left on the bench against Swansea, added: "When I get a knockback, I want to work hard. I didn't have to train after the game the other day but I wanted to do it because I want to stay fit.

"If I don't do that extra running then maybe I wouldn't have arrived in the box to score the goal against Valencia. It is my mindset and that is why I will always do it, no matter what happens."


From Belfast Telegraph