Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said that he is there for his players “both individually and collectively” as the coronavirus continues to halt all football.
This weekend marks three weeks since Chelsea’s last game, the 4-0 thrashing of Everton.
Speaking to the Chelsea FC official website, Lampard reflects on what is a hugely tough time for the country.
Lampard maintains contact with the players
It’s been almost a month since the first case of the coronavirus hit the UK and since then it has been causing much disruption to sport all around Britain.
With footballers all around the world having to stay at home, the next couple of months may become quite lonely for players who are used to being in training or playing matches most days.
Managers now have an even more important role of trying to keep their players motivated.
“I’ve been in touch with the players,” said the Chelsea boss.
“They all know that I’m there for them, both individually and collectively, and these are tough times both physically and emotionally. So we have to be there for the players and that’s what we have been doing.”
“It’s a difficult and strange time for everyone and no matter how much we all love football and all love Chelsea, sometimes other things have to come first.
"This is one of those situations and my message to the players throughout this has been to put your family first. Look after them, and yourself, and keep the motivation that way.”
Hudson-Odoi fully recovered
One piece of much needed good news is the news that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has now completely recovered from the virus.
The 19-year-old was the first Premier League player to test positive for the virus but Lampard says that he is now back to full health.
“I’ve spoken to Callum and it’s great that he’s fully recovered. I spoke to him throughout that first week when he first got the illness and it was a strange time.
“Thankfully he didn’t suffer too much and we are happy he’s come through this. Now it’s just about taking the necessary precautions with the rest of the squad, which we have been doing since he first tested positive and everyone is doing well in the current climate.”
No issues with lack of motivation
On the issue of motivation, Lampard believes he has nothing to worry about with his group of players:
”I have no concerns with the players losing motivation and I know they will be doing the basics right at home in terms of their fitness and looking after themselves in these times.”