Frank Lampard, who scored his first open-play Chelsea goal this season at the weekend, believes the team will need to show adaptability in the style to maintain our lead at the top in the months to come.
With much made of the Blues’ change in pattern of play this season, no-one can argue with the results of late as the 4-1 victory over Norwich made it five wins on the spin. Confidence in the camp is good but complacency is far from creeping in.
‘We are playing slightly differently, that is for sure, and I think that is just because of the players we have brought in, the style of their play,’ explains Lampard.
‘But it is a long season and we have had nice patches in previous seasons that have fizzled out, so it is very important we keep going and stay confident. In some games we have to mix it and play slightly different. We believe and we have to show that we can be capable of doing that.
‘It is nice to have started so well,’ he adds. ‘The players that we have brought in have bedded in very quickly and it is good to go away at the international break on top.’
Lampard added to his two penalties in the opening month with a crisp finish from the edge of the area against Norwich and like so many of his goals, it was one with real impact, putting the team back ahead after going 1-0 down in the first half.
‘I was given rein to get forward a bit more on Saturday and if I get the chance to do that I believe I can still score goals,’ he says, ‘but it is important to also show discipline as well for the team. When we are incorporating different styles of players we have to keep the door closed at the back as well and I am enjoying playing in a team with so much talent in it. Now it is important we carry on, keep getting the best out of that talent and don’t sit back on what we have done so far.
‘Juan Mata is playing brilliantly. He had a rest for a couple of weeks because he played constantly through the summer on the back of a great season for us last year. He has come back in sharp form, creating and scoring goals and with him alongside Oscar and Eden Hazard, we have three players who can really unlock the door and it was nice to see them all linking up so well.
‘In the opening minutes against Norwich we weren’t on our game but when they scored, the reaction to that was instant and after that we moved the ball well, dominated the game and we ran our very comfortable winners.’
With 19 points taken from a possible 21, Lampard believes we should now be widely considered genuine title challengers.
‘It was quite nice being under the radar early in the season. We had a bad season at times last season and it fell away and we started to concentrate on the Champions League, and we all know what happened there. We showed what we can do and we have added top quality players into the team and we still have a spine here, so hopefully we have nice mix to make a big challenge in the league.’