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Frank Lampard has called on Chelsea’s players to find their voices in the final fortnight of the season. The boss again criticised their lack of communication in the shock 3-0 defeat away to Sheffield United on Saturday.
Lampard said that his players must come out of their shells for the final three Premier League games or face the grim prospect of playing in the Europa League.
“It adds a lot, I know that,” Lampard said of the importance of communication. “It’s one of the basics and I remember being taught as a young boy playing, about communicating with your team mate, wanting the ball, demanding the ball, demanding from others, supporting others.
“The main thing is that you can be as quiet as you want off the pitch, we have some quiet players here who keep themselves to themselves, but they must come out of that on the pitch, they must demand the ball, otherwise the game can pass you by.
“They must have character and spirit to talk to people around them and where we are young we have to improve on that. It’s a daily thing of working, maybe as the players grow into themselves a little bit, I keep telling them, the staff keep telling them then hopefully that message will hit home. But sometimes it’s not that easy when players are generally quiet and it’s something that we need to look at generally, keep improving on.”
Lampard said that the silence is something he has also noticed earlier in the campaign but seems to be struggling to get his message across on the training pitch.
“It’s something I picked up before, something I talk about with the players and one of the easiest things to do on the pitch, to help your team-mates, to help the group by being vocal, driving people on, being vocal and talking,” he added. “We don’t have enough of it, for sure. We have to get better at that and it’s something I drill into the players, particularly now where you can hear it now because the stadiums feel different, it’s something we need to be better at and I expect it from the players.
“With players that don’t speak, I get it, it’s not an easy one and I’m not trying to make a quiet player into the biggest mouth in the dressing room. There is an element that it’s natural. Some people naturally open their mouths and talk more, give information but you can improve it.
“It is much easier to improve opening your mouth than it is to beat three players and put it in the top corner. It’s really one of the basics of football and that’s something that we drum home here and will have to keep drumming because I didn’t hear enough at the weekend.”