Chelsea boss Frank Lampard eyes Man Utd payback in Carabao Cup and praises Tammy Abraham

The side which beat him 4-0 in his very first game in charge at Chelsea head to Stamford Bridge for their Carabao Cup clash with the two teams’ fortunes very much reversed from that opening-day result.

And Lampard insists that Chelsea’s subsequent success has come because he brushed off criticism and stuck to his principles despite the thrashing at Old Trafford.

“Was it difficult to ignore criticism after game? No. It was easy,” Lampard said.

“I joke a bit, but there is a lot of noise, win, lose or draw about my selection, whatever 11 I pick.

“With this big wide world of social media we have now it will be dissected and people will have different opinions and some people who are ex-players or ex-managers will have different opinions.

“But I set out this season to see what these young boys could do. If I didn’t have a transfer ban and came to this club and had opportunities to bring players in during the summer, I still would have trusted the young boys and would have made decisions around that.

“For me to have thrown that away after one game at Manchester United and a few opinions, that would have made me a bit of a flip-flopper.”

Lampard’s former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was among the more vocal critics on an afternoon in which Tammy Abraham was pilloried for a particularly bad miss and Kurt Zouma received spiteful online abuse for his defensive mistakes.

Since then the former has rattled in eight goals in nine Premier League starts and the latter has become one of the twin pillars of a defence that has underpinned seven successive wins in all competitions.

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“That’s part of the process for a young player, isn’t it?” Lampard added. “They have to feel you believe in them.

“I remember my managers giving me that sense they believed in me and stick with me because everybody will have a bad game or an off day.

“I think that’s part of my job, to give all my players belief, but particularly the young ones who are playing their first games or whatever at Old Trafford.

“I didn’t even have to speak to the players individually after that. It was ‘onto the next one’, onto the Super Cup at the time, and let’s try and be successful, and since then they’ve been good.”

It was quite a baptism for Lampard, too – although he rails at the suggestion that his Chelsea pedigree bought him the time to get things right.

“I think I might be silly to start saying that,” he said. “I might be all right this week but the reality for all us managers is the same.

“It might be the other way. People might look even more into you. The minute you don’t get a result, it will be ‘You only got the job because you played for them’ or something like that.

“My job is not to even have my head turned by those comments either way and to focus on what’s in hand.”

POSSIBLE TEAM (4-3-3): Caballero, James, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso, Barkley, Gilmour, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Giroud


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