Ahead of Friday’s pre-season friendly against Kawasaki Frontale, Frank Lampard and Mateo Kovačić met with the media.

Here is what both had to say…

Head Coach Frank Lampard and Mateo Kovačić talking to the media today in Yokohama, Japan (Photo – Chelsea FC)

Lampard feels that Kawasaki Frontale, last season’s J-League champions will be a step up for his team and the challenge will be a side who have a lot of energy and speed, something that Lampard wants the Blues to step up themselves over the week.

With the two games in Ireland, Lampard wants Friday’s game to get more minutes for his players with the season just under a month away

Frank Lampard states that he wants his team to play with a lot of energy and at high speed, looking to move the ball quickly and using what he believes is a strong squad that he’s inherited.

LAMPARD ON THE YOUTH PLAYERS

“Everybody knows I have a keen eye for the younger players in the academy. We have a batch of them fighting to get into the first team. They now have to make the difference. They have to be the ones who play well enough to get into the team.”

– Frank Lampard

KOVACIC ON LAMPARD

“It’s amazing to have a club legend as your coach but it’s also quite tough. The training is intense but we’re enjoying it. There is a lot of the ball, exactly what we like, and we’re looking forward to learn a lot and make him proud.”

– Mateo Kovacic

Frank Lampard then confirmed that Ethan Ampadu could be going on loan for the season, which is why he hasn’t been added to the Japan squad.

LAMPARD ON HIS TEAM FOR THIS SEASON

“I watched a lot of Chelsea last year under Maurizio Sarri, in terms of the way that the season finished to win the Europa League and secure Champions League football, it was a successful season. But for me the story is not to look backwards. I know the club very well, I know the players very well. I have my own way that I want to work with the players and i have to say in one week that we have been training I have been very happy with the attitude and the quality of the players.

My job now is to work hard in pre-season with them. I like my teams to play with a lot of energy and speed, with and without the ball so I want to win it back as quickly as we can. When we have the ball I want to move the ball quickly and create chances and win games and feel like we are playing football that we enjoy. So that is my job now. I think I have inherited very good players. We can’t bring any players in this year, we know that but I don’t need new players. I am very happy with the squad and determined for us to be successful.”

– Frank Lampard

LAMPARD ON THE FITNESS OF N’GOLO KANTÉ

“N’Golo is here and will hopefully integrate with the rest of the team. I don’t envisage him being too long and hopefully will take part in one of the games while we are here.”

– Frank Lampard

LAMPARD ON THE TRANSFER BAN AND THE YOUNGER PLAYERS

“A club like Chelsea always wants to improve in terms of the transfer market, if you can bring in players who can improve the squad you look at that.”

“But the decision and the story was made before I got the job. The transfer ban is here so it is probably a waste of my time to think too much about what could have been or should have been, my job is to have absolute belief in the players and that is what I think the week’s training has started to give me, because I can see a quality and attitude within the squad.”

“When you know where you are at it hones in what is important, which is the club together, players, fans, staff, everybody, giving everything to improve daily and improve game by game, because with the squad we have we can be really competitive this year.”

“It helps my focus and if there’s a blessing in disguise it’s the fact that we don’t have a stressful start of August with the transfer window.”

– Frank Lampard

LAMPARD ON CALLUM HUDSON-ODOI

“Callum, of course we want him to sign contract extension and stay here as long as possible. I have said it before, he’s a player that came from the academy, a player that will be a big part of the club and England. We as a club want him to stay here that’s for sure.”

– Frank Lampard

LAMPARD ON THE YOUNGER PLAYERS (CONT.) & MASON MOUNT

“In terms of where it leaves us with people like Mason Mount, I am delighted that he has signed a new contract. I think everybody knows that I have a keen eye for the younger players in the academy, that they have produced and we have a batch of them that are fighting to get into the first team.”

“To be absolutely clear, they now have to make the difference. It’s a road that is given to them and now they have to be the ones that play well enough to get into the team. I don’t care about age, I care about performance and how people train and play. Now with the squad it is up to those players to show what they can do.”

– Frank Lampard
Lampard and Kovačić posing with Kawasaki Frontale manager Toru Oniki and captain Yu Kobayashi (Photo – Chelsea FC)

And that’s the end of the Press Conference. Some very intriguing comments made by Lampard on Hudson-Odoi and what we could possibly be expecting from the squad next season.

Let’s hope for no injuries on Friday, a positive result/performance and the debut of Christian Pulisic.

Terry Sazio

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