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Lampard calls on Chelsea to push through tiredness in search of trophies and glory

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Chelsea FC v Norwich City - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Project Restart turns one month old this weekend. For Chelsea, today’s FA Cup semifinal will be the ninth match of the past 28 days. That’s a grueling schedule any way you look at it — and not just for Chelsea, but for all the teams involved, and especially so after three months of no football whatsoever.

If we add in Frank Lampard’s general lack of non-enforced rotation, we are certainly looking at a few tired legs out there these days. Of course, teams and coaches will always want their best players to be playing most of the time, but performances take a hit when the tiredness sets in.

But with three, maybe four critical matches left in the next 7-10 days depending on how today goes, Lampard cannot afford to rotate just for the fun of it either. So he’s calling on the players to dig deep and find that extra bit of energy that we need now more than ever.

“I’m happy with how they’ve coped with [the hectic schedule]. We did a lot of work in the first parts of training when we came back, socially-distanced small group training, physical work, to get up to speed. The players have reacted well. It’s not easy. I’m always one to say the players should get on with it, they’re professionals, but to play every three days at the level we are is not easy. They’ve done well.

“There have been moments in games where we have seen tiredness. That’s not just my team. Now we can see an end, it’s getting close, and we have to dig in one more time to get a push for the last few games.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

Lampard built his career on tireless work in games and on the training ground, so it’s not at all suprising that he’d demand the same from his players. Whether they can cope is another story. N’Golo Kanté’s hamstring already threw in the towel.

Mind over matter and all that, but we have to realistic about our limits as well, about how much the motivation of trophies and glories can accomplish.

“We are now at a level in the Cup where we are playing a team in fantastic form, and if we were to get through that we’d play another team in really good form, and that’s the end of where it goes for me in terms of wanting to win: what it means for this club and the group.”

“...every cup you’re in you want to do your best to win it, and it wouldn’t fall short on me the pride of being able to walk out the club I love at Wembley. Even for a semi-final, it’s a huge game against Manchester United, and I will be very proud on Sunday.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Bionic legs.