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Frustrated Lampard may bolster Blues' squad

Chelsea 0 Southampton 2

Big win: Saints’ boss Ralph Hasenhuttl with Ryan Bertrand
Big win: Saints’ boss Ralph Hasenhuttl with Ryan Bertrand

By Nick Purewal

Frank Lampard has hinted that Chelsea's stuttering home form could push him towards January recruitment.

Chelsea slipped to consecutive home Premier League defeats for the first time in eight years with the 2-0 loss to Southampton on Boxing Day.

Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond struck to sink the Blues, who suffered a sixth loss in 15 Stamford Bridge matches in all competitions this term.

Chelsea can make January additions after their FIFA transfer ban was lifted on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and manager Lampard has conceded bolstering his squad has started to enter his thoughts.

Asked if frustrating losses like the Saints defeat would nudge him closer towards the January transfer market, Lampard said: "I learn about the players, particularly in games like that.

"Games that turn out to be difficult are a test of character as much as they are quality.

"When it's all easy after Sunday's 2-0 win at Tottenham, we were the greatest thing in the world. And today it's questioned.

"And it's when you're questioned you'll see the strength of character of someone, I'd say."

Not since successive losses to Arsenal and Liverpool in October and November 2011 had Chelsea tasted back-to-back Premiership defeats at Stamford Bridge.

Willian's double handed Chelsea a stunning derby win at Spurs on Sunday, with Lampard getting the better of his former Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea had slumped to a 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth before seeing off Spurs, however, and Lampard admitted the defeat by Southampton pushed his side back to square one.

"It's the same story as after Bournemouth," said Lampard. "And the same story of the last few home games.

"I said after Spurs that we need to reproduce that kind of performance. And I'll probably give you the exact same press conference as after Bournemouth, to be fair.

"We have to mix up our game and break defensive lines, because teams aren't stupid.

"Obviously if you're on a run like we are at home then there's more pressure because everyone talks about it and we feel it.

"People are respecting us as Chelsea, but we're not playing like the Chelsea that can break that down."

Southampton have now won four of their last six Premier League matches, leaving boss Ralph Hasenhuttl hailing his players for restoring the right mentality.

The charismatic Austrian leapt onto the pitch when Obafemi put Saints into the lead and, while he was sorry for leaving his technical area, he made no apology for his passion.

Belfast Telegraph


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