Chelsea were presented with the “Rakuten Cup” after our 2-1 preseason friendly win over Barcelona on Tuesday night, but the real reward was in the performance itself. As head coach Frank Lampard reflected after the game, it was a testament to the hard work the players have been putting in during the intense training sessions.
Every coach wants to see their efforts and ideas in training reflected in real match situations, and Lampard was pleased to see that happen frequently against the Spanish champions — unlike on Friday in the less than impressive 1-0 loss against Kawasaki Frontale.
“I’m very happy. It’s been good on pitch and off pitch. Especially today, I saw a lot of signs from the work we have done which is very good. There is more work to do but it’s been a good trip.
Chelsea now head back to London but Lampard will be giving the players a couple days off before returning to training and tackling the next item on the fixture list (Reading, away, on
Saturday Sunday). Following over two weeks of grueling training sessions in Ireland and Japan, and four preseason games, a bit of rest will certainly be welcome.
Lampard expects the team to come back refreshed and ready to keep building fitness and momentum, while also starting to work on some more advanced tactical concepts.
“What I’ve learnt about the players is they’re a good strong group. They’ve done everything asked of them and more, so they deservedly now get a couple of days off. We’ve had two very competitive games here in humidity and difficult conditions. It’s a good test for the players and the tour has helped us.
“We’re in a process to be fit and ready for Manchester United, our first game. The clock runs down quickly so the players have to keep working. Collectively we have to work on elements of the team I want to implement.”
- Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Chelsea will have two weeks and three more preseason games left after this mini-break. It’s been a good summer so far, but the work is far from done.