CFCNG

Lampard encourages team despite Carabao Cup exit

The Blues exited at the fourth round stage after a game of few clear chances was settled by a Marcus Rashford free-kick, a ‘sensational bolt from the blue’ as Lampard put it.

Michy Batshuayi had cancelled out a Rashford penalty with a spectacular goal of his own, and the Belgian received praise from his boss afterwards.

First Lampard assessed his team’s performance and the reasons behind the loss

‘In terms of where we weren’t at our best, we were a little bit slow with our passing in the first half. When a team comes, as Newcastle did, and puts five back and two in front, and are disciplined and want to organise if you don’t break the lines and don’t move, and you don’t mix your game up, it’s tough.

‘We were a little bit that way first half, and then we weren’t clinical enough second half. We created chances, changed our game, were really bright. I loved the first half-an-hour in the second half. We were deserving of our goal and deserving of more.

‘Rashford’s goal was stunning, at a time when we had got ourselves level and I felt we were really in the ascendency. We had just brought Mason and Pedro on and I felt the fresh legs of them two would help. But when they got themselves in front they had a lead to defend, and they did that.’

Batshuayi superbly netted his fifth goal of the season

‘The outstanding moment of the game from our point of view was Michy’s goal in terms of individual endeavour, skill, strength, pace and finish.

‘Michy has been really good for us this season with his attitude and professionalism in training. It’s not easy when another striker is scoring and you’re not getting involved much. Every time he’s started in the cup games, every time he’s come on, he’s shown stuff.’

Lampard put this defeat into context

‘We’ve had seven wins on the trot, we’ve had taxing games in the Champions League. It’s important for us to get into the next stage of that. We have a few tough games coming up.

‘Our form in the league has been really good, and it’s quite clear they are the priorities. We want to win football matches and we want to give everything, but I have to look at my squad and people that deserve minutes, young players that are going to be big players. The competition has an element of that for us, and an element of wanting to win and be successful.

‘I saw a lot of things that were good for us for the future, a lot of positives. I hate losing, we all do here, but it’s clear there is a big picture and there are a lot of big games for us to come and a busy fixture list. Now we move on and focus on what is to come.’

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