Source: China State Council Information Office
Chelsea coach Frank Lampard has warned his players that they have no excuses as they prepare for Wednesday’s European Supercup Final against Liverpool in Istanbul.
Last season’s Europa League winners flew to Turkey on Tuesday morning after suffering a 4-0 defeat away to Manchester United in their opening Premier League fixture on Sunday.
It was the worst opening day defeat in Chelsea’s history and served to highlight the task facing Lampard after a summer which saw the club lose key players Eden Hazard and David Luiz, but unable to replace them due to a FIFA transfer ban which means they won’t be able to sign any new players until next summer.
Although Lampard has several young players returning from loan in his squad, they were taken apart in the second half at Old Trafford and with last season’s Champions League winners, Liverpool getting their season off to a flying start with a 4-1 win at home to Norwich City, Wednesday could be another tough test for Chelsea
“Going up against the team with the quality of Liverpool in a final is as tense as finals can be,” said Lampard in an interview with UEFA.
“It’s going to be tough, but we cannot walk off the pitch and think, ‘Oh, we could’ve done that’ or ‘we missed that opportunity,’ or ‘we weren’t quite ready’, or make any excuses for ourselves,” he added.
“You can lose finals; they’re very tough. But what you cannot do is lose it on the premise that we weren’t prepared, or we didn’t have that hunger or desire or everything you need to try and win a game of this magnitude,” continued the coach who at the weekend handed league debuts to former youth team products Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, both of whom spent last season on loan in the Championship.
“Every player in there needs to be aware of the importance of the game to this club and we have to give everything, because it’s going to be tough… I’ve never won it, a lot of players in there have never won it, so we have to give it everything,” concluded Lampard.