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Lampard calls for calm over scrutiny of Pulisic's Chelsea role

Omnisport
NEWS
News
06 Oct 2019, 03:00 IST
Pulisic-cropped
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic

Frank Lampard does not believe there should be any consternation about Christian Pulisic's struggles for a regular starting place early in his Chelsea career.

Highly rated United States international Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in a reported £57.6million deal in January, but only linked up with his new team-mates in pre-season.

The 21-year-old was seen by some as a replacement for departing star Eden Hazard, though he is yet to score his first Chelsea goal.

Pulisic has found himself behind Willian, Pedro and now returning academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi in the pecking order, failing to make the bench at Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Lampard feels Pulisic has played a good amount of football this season and acknowledges he will need time to adjust following the move from the Bundesliga.

"I spoke to him two days before the Grimsby game and was very clear about the standards [required]," he told reporters.

"We have to give him the fact that he's moved country and moved leagues and he's as young as the young players we've been talking about - he's just turned 21.

"If anybody's getting too excited about this, they should calm down. He's started five games for us.

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"What he needs to do is work, work daily, work to show that within the group he deserves to play - as all the players do. That's what the focus of everyone is."

Olivier Giroud is another big name who has found himself marginalised under Lampard, with Tammy Abraham preferred up front.

Lampard has some sympathy for the French World Cup winner, saying: "My relationship is really good with him. He's a great professional, trains at a level every day, is great in the dressing room, has experience he can pass on.

"But everyone keeps asking about the players who aren't playing. It's a difficult one. Some players can't play whether they're 32 or at the other end of the spectrum at 21.

"They have to keep working and being positive in the group. I've got no runners in this game - I want the club to win. Whether I choose people or not is about whether I think it's the best thing.

"I'm not blind to the fact that, when you're not playing, it's not nice. Everyone wants to play - I understand that and I accept that.

"I was one of the worst, I hated not playing, it was terrible. So on this side of the fence, I get it. All I want to see is positivity and how they are daily in the place. And I'm seeing that.

"Maybe that's something the outside world doesn't see. They just say, 'Why's he not playing this one or that one?' I have to make choices out of training and I want the group to be positive, well-spirited and getting results.

"At the moment, we're doing that. That has to continue. All good teams need a squad to be a successful team. It needs everyone pulling in the same direction - whether playing or not.

"To be fair to Oli, he's been fantastic. He trains well and we'll need him.

"Tammy's in great form - that's the thing. We've seen Tammy scoring regularly, which is great for us. Tammy also needs to know that, if his level drops, he's got Oli Giroud and Michy Batshuayi ready to come in."

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