Football

Frank Lampard confident Callum Hudson-Odoi will re-discover swagger after heart-to-heart


Frank Lampard has held a series of heart-to-heart talks with Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Teenage winger Hudson-Odoi, 19, has been struggling for form and confidence and has not been a regular starter in recent weeks.

It has been reported that England international Hudson-Odoi has even been affected by criticism of his performances on social media.

But Lampard insists he is fully confident Hudson-Odoi will come through the first big test of his fledgling career.

Chelsea boss Lampard said: “At 19, there are not too many that are playing in the Premier League every week, especially at a club like ourselves. He does have competition in those areas.

Lampard is confident Hudson-Odoi will re-discover his swagger

“His consistency needs to be how he works, how he trains everyday and how much pressure he puts on me to play him and get into the team.

“That is one thing he will strive for but from all the conversations I have had with him in the last few weeks – and I have had a few – he understands what he needs to do on and off the pitch. I will certainly stick with him.

“I have got no problems with him, I thought he did well when he came on at Arsenal , that should be a nice little boost for him and I think Chelsea fans will be absolutely behind him

“They want to see passion, they want to see his ability to go past people which he has got.

“He needs to understand what is needed and he is working on that constantly, I’ll back him and work with him on that.

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Hudson-Odoi has struggled for regular football this term

“I’ve not spoken to him about social media. Unfortunately with social media that is par for the course, it doesn’t make it right or wrong.

“I haven’t seen it but unfortunately that is something that you have to have a very thick skin about.

“I said it after the Southampton game, he is a young player – just 19 – had a lot of talk about him for different reasons, which is not all of his doing

“There has been a big microscope on him and I think we actually do have to give him time and patience with how young he is.”

Lampard has done a remarkable job to keep Chelsea in the top four despite the transfer ban and losing Eden Hazard last summer but now insists there will be “joined up thinking” in the January window.

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But the aim also for 2020 is to emerge as genuine title contenders within the next 12 months and, while Lampard said there will be no guarantees, that is his target.

Lampard added: “I don’t want to declare that at this point. Liverpool might have something to say about it. That has to be the aim.

“The transfer ban was one thing. It gave the staff a chance to look at the players, see what we have got and look at the youth.

“That has been good and the more and more I see us play and the good and the bad you change your feelings about how you want to go forward but the endgame will always be the same.

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“Once we can start bringing players in and the young players start to hopefully mature and get better we want to bridge that gap to go up there. Whether we can do that next year I don’t know.”





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