Chelsea began their first match of pre-season and of Frank Lampard’s reign with a 1-1 draw to Bohemians in Dublin.
The Blues started the game well with a goal inside ten minutes from Michy Batshuayi. However, the unforgiving Irish side battled on until they levelled the game with two minutes to spare through Eric Molley.
After the game, Lampard spoke to Chelsea FC and gave his outlook on the positive start his side has made ahead of the 2019/20 season.
A tough start
Bohemians currently sit third in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division having already played 24 league games. The Irish side were resolute defensively and put up a fight.
Lampard felt that it was a difficult game for his side and said: “It was a tough game for us.
“We haven’t been back for long and this was our first game after just a few days, so there was a bit of pressure on the lads to work today.
“We’ve been working them very hard and we did the same this morning as well. I want to stretch them because that’s what pre-season is all about."
Chelsea’s all-time top goal scorer furthered that a win would have been ideal, but the aim was to work towards improving the players’ fitness.
“We wanted to win," he added. "You always do but it’s not about that at this point, it’s about individuals getting fit and pushing themselves to the limit."
The Chelsea manager was also pleased with how the younger players performed.
“We were pleased with the outcome and I thought some of the performances, particularly from some of the young lads, were really good.”
19-year-old Conor Gallagher was handed a start having won Chelsea Academy Player of the Year last season. The likes of Trevor Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu and Billy Gilmour also featured.
Lampard happy with team attitude
The 41-year-old started working with his new squad on Friday and has been impressed with the initial attitude and hunger to adapt to his coaching techniques.
“I have a way of working that can be taxing on the players and we wanted to get straight into it,” he said. “We have to because we want fitness and intensity in our game.
“I’m happy not just with how they’ve practically done things but with their attitude in taking everything on. We’ve been really happy with them.”
In his interview with Chelsea FC, the ex-England international acknowledged and paid credit to the Blues fans.
“We have great support over here and we’ve seen that at the hotel every day with the fans coming to see us,” he said. “We’ve always had big support here so thanks to them for coming out to see us play.”