Frank Lampard has demanded “more and I want more now” from his young Chelsea side as he prepares for Monday’s Premier League fixture at home to Manchester United.

Having used the winter break to get perspective on their season to date, the Chelsea manager is confident he can find the “10-15%” extra that will secure his team’s place in the top four. But with Spurs following United to Stamford Bridge next weekend, he is also aware the pressure on his team is about to rise.

“It’s a critical time for us and I need the young players to do their thing,” Lampard said. “I think when you come through this academy, you should understand what playing for the first team at Chelsea looks like. You must always drive yourself and drive yourself and, if there’s times when you’re not necessarily at your best, you need to drive yourself again.

“The young players have made a great impact this season and we’ve had reliance on them to a degree, because we knew we couldn’t bring anyone in at the start. Through the season I think there are going to be some difficult times and, if you look at Tammy Abraham at the moment, and maybe Mason [Mount], I think the break was particularly good for them as they can come back and hopefully show more levels in their game.

“There’s been tough little times recently and I think it’s up to them now. They’ve shown they’re part of this first-team squad and they’ve all had their good inputs but I want more and I think I want more now.”

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Chelsea have not played since their 2-2 draw at Leicester on 1 February, leaving a 16-day break between matches. Lampard said he had used the time to focus on how he could improve his coaching for the climactic period of the season, but had found perspective on his team’s performance in the competition to date.

“I always like to reflect on myself and how I work,” Lampard said. “When you’re a new manager at a club, and I only came in last summer, you always think: ‘What small tweaks can I make to how we prepare and how we train daily?’

“There was a lot of self-reflection [during the break]. And just having some time away, having a bit of clarity, I think we should be happy that we’re in fourth position. I think that would have been a plus at the start of the season. At the same time how can we get that extra 10 or 15% which I think we’ve been lacking? We would have had a lot more points on the board [if we did] and made fourth look a lot more comfortable.”



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