Frank Lampard conceded the midweek thrashing by Bayern Munich “opened eyes” at Chelsea and is intrigued to see what reaction his players produce at Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Bundesliga leaders were much too strong for Chelsea on Tuesday, cruising to a 3-0 first-leg victory at Stamford Bridge in their Champions League last-16 clash.
The defeat continued the trend of what has been a stop-start season, Lampard’s first in the Chelsea hot-seat, following last weekend’s impressive win over Tottenham.
“The response will be what we see tomorrow,” said the former England international when asked about his expectations.
“The lads are fine in training, they looked determined this morning.
“Things like this [the Bayern defeat] happen in football, there are moments, there are games where it’s a tough match, and that opens your eyes somewhat. And then the tester is how you come back from that, individually and collectively.
“So I’m interested to see the reaction, it feels it will be good, the determination in training is there to see.
“Our last Premier League performance was very, very good, so we have to carry on from that, but in the bigger picture it was a lesson for the players, because we played against very, very high level opposition, and they were better than us on the night in most departments.
“At the minute we’re in fourth place, which people probably didn’t quite expect, and we have to fight until the end for fourth.”
England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has not played this season after rupturing an Achilles in May 2019, was an unused substitute against Spurs but did not make the matchday squad for the Bayern clash.
Lampard explained the reason why and also confirmed Loftus-Cheek would return to the party for the trip to the Vitality Stadium.
He said: “Ruben’s in the squad again. We haven’t had a great opportunity to get Ruben game time as much as we’d want.
“I felt against Tottenham he could make an impact of some sort in the game, and that would have been great for him to get some minutes.
“Bayern was a different animal, so I took a different decision to get some good training in during the week. But now he’s back in the squad.”
Lampard is excited at the prospect of getting back someone he believes is “one of the most exciting English players” in the top flight.
“It would mean a lot to him and me for him to get some time on the field now,” Lampard added.
“It’s a lonely place, it’s a long time. He was in a very good run of form last year. He was playing really well and getting confidence. And he hasn’t kicked a ball for me.
“With the ability he has got – I think he’s one of the most exciting English Premier League players – we all want him back, and him more than anyone.”