Chelsea manager Frank Lampard urged his players on Friday to put their midweek Champions League humbling by Bayern Munich behind them and refocus their attention on the fight for the top four in the Premier League.
The 3-0 loss to the German champions at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last-16 tie was Chelsea’s heaviest ever margin of defeat in a home game in European competition.
“The response will be about what we see tomorrow. They have been fine in training,” Lampard told reporters ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Bournemouth.
“The match was tough, it opens your eyes somewhat. The last Premier League performance (a 2-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur) was very good.
“In the bigger picture it was a lesson for the players. They were better than us. It was a reality check for all of us. I thought we could perform better, but we are in fourth and we have to fight until the end.”
Chelsea, fourth in the league, have also seen their gap to fifth reduced to only three points in recent weeks and Lampard is aware another slip-up could cost the London side who have won only once in their last five league games.
“When you look around and the form of (Manchester) United, a strong unit and spent well last summer, similar with Tottenham and can’t write off Arsenal,” Lampard added.
“Wolves and Sheffield United, you have to respect them, they are good teams. We have a fight on. Anyone who is in range has a chance.”
Lampard confirmed striker Tammy Abraham, winger Christian Pulisic and midfielder N’Golo Kante are all unavailable due to injuries but midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek could play for the first time since he ruptured his Achilles tendon in May.
“Ruben is in the squad again tomorrow,” Lampard said. “It would mean a lot for him. It’s a lonely place to be injured. With the ability that he has got he is one of the most exciting English midfield players.”