Lampard on Liverpool challenge, finding the right balance on and off the pitch, and his support for Loftus-Cheek

‘As a player I always felt that adrenaline and feeling for a game at this level, and it’s the same for a coach. I know we’re going up against a great team, I’m going up against a fantastic coach, so you want to do well.

‘When I was playing the games were ultra-competitive and very difficult for us. In modern-day terms it looks slightly different because Liverpool have been fighting to win the league, and last year they did. We are now trying to improve and close that gap, and that competitiveness is what the Premier League is all about.’

Lampard played down any sort of personal rivalry with Jurgen Klopp after a touchline incident in July, saying he ‘had a huge amount of respect for him, and always has done’. Lampard is seeking to emulate the German by building a title-winning group of players, and getting the best out of them.

‘It’s a challenge for any coach in the Premier League, but any squad has to have 20-plus players to be able to fight on all fronts, and handle the endurance test that is the season.

‘Trying to find the right balance for the squad was something we were searching for a lot last year because I couldn’t make changes, which might have changed how we looked slightly and maybe brought us better balance.

‘This season we hopefully will move towards having a really good balance in the squad, but we must give that some time. We’ve brought players in, we haven’t had a pre-season, and it will take time to get the team working in the direction I want it to.’


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