Chelsea coach Frank Lampard was pleased with his side’s performance in their 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon, but he has urged his players to ‘stay humble’ after temporarily reaching the Premier League summit.
A Federico Fernandez own goal and a strike from Tammy Abraham gave the Blues all three points at St. James’ Park, lifting them above Leicester City on goal difference and into first place.
But Lampard is not ready to get carried away with his team’s early heroics. Speaking after the victory, he encouraged his players to ‘stay humble’, stressing that the Premier League title battle is ‘a long, long race.’
“It’s pleasing but I’m not going to get excited about being top of the table for five minutes,” he said.
“I think it’s time to stay humble when you go top and know that it’s a long, long race.”
The former midfielder was delighted with the visitors’ dominant display on Saturday, but he is looking for his forwards to show more ruthlessness in the future, after Chelsea missed some great opportunities to kill the game off as a contest throughout the 90 minutes.
“It’s always smoother on the bench for me and the staff when you do wrap it up early, but it can happen. We played well, it’s not an easy game for us coming here against a very organised team.
“It was great to get the early goal, that changes the aspect of it, but the second one was then so important and we obviously had chances to get that earlier. Even after that we could maybe score again, but we can’t have it all our own way. There are days where you aren’t quite at it in front of goal, then we put the game away very well I thought in our professional performance.”
Lampard was especially satisfied that despite not taking their chances, the Blues never looked like throwing the game away against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, who rarely threatened the West Londoners’ backline.
“It’s important for us as a group if we want to get where we want to be that you have to work on those moments when you do go ahead that you don’t get complacent. Penetration was the big thing for me. We were having control but people were still happy to run in.
“We played well in patches and the result is key in these games because the Premier League is tough. It’s relentless and after the break where we were playing well and everyone goes in their own directions and comes back. I thought the lads dealt with the challenge of the game very well today, so I’m very pleased.”
So, top of the table – for now at least. Lampard and his Chelsea stars look to have finally found their groove.