Lampard ‘won’t look backwards’ as he takes over Chelsea

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AFP) – Chelsea legend Frank Lampard said on Tuesday he won’t be looking backwards as he takes on possibly the biggest challenge of his career: managing his former team.

Speaking in Japan where the Blues are playing two friendlies, Lampard said he was “very happy” with his squad but expects to work the team hard during the pre-season.

“For me the story is not to look backwards,” said Lampard, whose return to his former club as head coach was confirmed earlier this month.

“I know the club very well, I know the players very well. I have my own way that I want to work with the players,” he told reporters in Yokohama, where Chelsea will face Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale tomorrow.

Lampard acknowledged taking on leadership of the Blues will be a major undertaking, with Chelsea having lost their best player of recent times, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid last month, and serving a two-window transfer ban that prevents him from making new signings.

But he said there was no reason to dwell on the ban.

“I think I inherited very good players. We cannot bring in any players we know that… But I’m very happy with the squad.

“My job now is to work hard in pre-season with them. I like my teams to play with a lot of energy and speed, with and without the ball, so I want to win it back as quickly as we can,” he said.

Chelsea’s new USD72 million signing, Christian Pulisic, is listed as one of the team members visiting Japan, but it was not year clear when he will arrive.

Lampard declined to reveal the line-up for the two friendlies on Chelsea’s calender, which include a much-anticipated face-off against Barcelona on July 23.

Chelsea’s new manager Frank Lampard speaks with the club’s Technical Director Petr Cech during a training session. – AP