Frank Lampard put on a brave face as his first game in charge of the Blues in the Champions League ended in a 1-0 defeat to Valencia at Stamford Bridge, writes Paul Lagan.
Lampard said: “We probably should have won, at least got a draw. I think we created enough in the game, not lots of fantastic chances, but good chances.
We conceded from the one shot on target, so that’s a harsh lesson in Champions League football. We played pretty well but lost it.
“The good news is we have five games left in the group.”
Lampard confirmed that Ross Barkley was the designated spot-kick taker. “Ross is the penalty taker. He was in pre-season and scored a couple.” Jorginho and Willian wanted the penalty, what did they say to him?
“I don’t know what the conversation was,” admitted Lampard. “But Jorginho and Willian were the takers on the pitch. When Ross comes on he becomes the penalty taker.”
Lampard agrees getting out of the group is going to be harder, but he is confident. That’s the reality of losing a game at home, and makes those games (Lille and Ajax) more important, particularly as they come back to back away from home.
He said: “There are league games in the meantime, but we need a strong focus on those games to try to get a result in one of those two games before we make it really, really tough for ourselves.
“In context, it’s still one game done and it’s still a group that I think teams will take points off each other because all the teams are strong and will fancy themselves.
“There is certainly no reason to be too downbeat now, but we need to win games.”
Chelsea face league leaders Liverpool on Sunday – Lampard is already focused on that.
“It’s a big game off the back of a good result for us at Wolves. This is a different competition.
“It wasn’t a bad performance. It was just a result we now have to turn around in the Champions League. It doesn’t change the fact we’re waiting for a very tough match, but the sort of game we’re here for.
They’re playing so well at the minute. They’re the best team in the country on form, so it’s a great test for us and we need to be ready .”
Lampard will be without young star Mason Mount for the visit of Liverpool as he limped off injured.
Lampard said: “He has got an ankle injury, we don’t know how bad it is, we are going to have to assess it in the next 24 hours to see the scale of the injury.
Obviously it was a shame because he was playing so well and started well.”