Frank Lampard presented an unusually aggressive tone amid talk that his time at Chelsea could be cut short soon ahead of the FA Cup clash with Luton on Sunday.
Lampard delivered short and sharp barbs back to several journalists who questioned him on Friday afternoon.
It comes amid a poor run of form where Chelsea have lost five out of their last eight games and which sees him as the favorite to be the next manager sacked in the league.
Lampard says that the reports are not impacting his day-to-day work at Cobham Training Ground as he bids to turn around the poor run before it is too late.
“I don’t listen to it. It’s only everywhere if you want to scroll through social media or something, but I don’t do that,” Lampard told reporters. “I’m not stupid, I know the pressures that come with managing a top football club, but I just do my job, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Having scored 211 goals to become Chelsea’s all-time record scorer, Lampard is regarded by many as the club’s greatest-ever player.
He came into management knowing that he was risking his near-perfect legacy at the club but the allure of his dream job was too much to turn down. Now, with his long-term future in doubt, Lampard has grown frustrated with some of the analysis with how his new signings have failed to make much impact at Chelsea.
“What marker are you putting on that? I am not going to sit talking about [them performing by] next season as it would be nonsense,” he added. “Any manager in the Premier League wouldn’t talk about next season because you can only worry about what’s in front of you.”
When further questioned on when we would see improvements from the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Lampard responded: “Again, what’s the marker on that? Is it to get someone playing like Eden Hazard did in the prime of his career? What are you asking?
“That’s what we are working towards, yes,” he concluded, about trying to get the best from them this season.
Werner and Havertz are both on 11-game goal droughts in the Premier League, despite having netted in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Morecambe at the start of the month.
Their poor form has led Chelsea to slip from first place to eighth in the league. Lampard has earned 1.67 points per game since becoming manager last season, the lowest of anyone appointed during Roman Abramovich’s time at the club.
“I am not going to talk about private conversations [with Abramovich],” Lampard said. “I played here for a long time and the situation changes from being a player after 13 years to be a manager. So I have more conversations now with the hierarchy that I did as a player.”
One area where Lampard is getting support is from the majority of the club’s support the UK. Chelsea’s biggest independent fanzine CFCUK has urged the board to stick with Lampard.
Meanwhile, We Are The Shed, an organization of supporters who sit in the Shed End of the stadium, have arranged an “In Frank We Trust” banner for the upcoming match.
“I absolutely appreciate the fans that put together to create the banner. I think everyone who knows me or watched me as a player or manager knows how I feel about this club so I appreciate it very much,” Lampard said.