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Chelsea can challenge for Premier League title, says Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham has optimistically claimed that Chelsea retain designs on challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title despite their difficult start under Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have endured painful defeats in Lampard’s two matches in charge with Abraham’s miss in the penalty shootout giving Liverpool victory in Wednesday’s Super Cup final. Despite the outcome in Istanbul, and Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in the Premier League opener, the Chelsea striker believes both matches showed the squad is adapting quickly to Lampard’s methods.

The Europa League winners finished 26 and 25 points behind City and Liverpool respectively last season but Abraham said the team have the potential to compete for the title providing they turn promise into points, starting on Sunday at home to Leicester.

Abraham said: “A lot of the boys see the way he wants us to play and we tried to play like that against Liverpool. We showed glimpses of what we can do. We’re a threat, we’re good defensively and we can attack. We just have to build on it. The whole team fills me with confidence. Every training session, before every game, they always lift me. I just have to push on this season and hopefully we can be up there to fight for the title.

“We would have liked to win the final and at United but it is still early doors. There is still a long season ahead and we are still in big competitions as well. It’s about how we react now. The points on Sunday will be massive for us.”

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Abraham’s start has mirrored that of the team as he adapts to life back in the Premier League after a successful loan spell in the Championship with Aston Villa. The striker started well at Old Trafford, striking a post, before being subdued by the United defenders Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf. The Super Cup brought more disappointment as he missed an excellent chance in extra time before Adrián stopped his final penalty of the shootout.

“I’m always someone who believes in myself in penalties,” he said. “I had a few last season and a few important ones. Unfortunately I missed one of the most important ones for Chelsea. It’s about how I react and just get my head up.

“The boys have made it feel like nothing has even happened. Everyone had their arms around me. They’ve said the best players miss, it’s something to learn from. It’s better it happened now than later on. You grow into a man and learn from it.”

Lampard’s first home game as the Chelsea manager will, Abraham believes, be the perfect opportunity to banish the disappointment of the opening week. He said: “I think the fans will be behind us. We’ve given two good performances and they can see that. I believe they’ll be behind us and hopefully we can give them a performance.”


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