‘It will be a big challenge for us… we know the difficulties of the ban’: Frank Lampard admits Chelsea face tough test to contribute to English football’s Champions League resurgence
- Frank Lampard admits that Chelsea’s transfer ban could impact their prospects
- Chelsea are back in Champions League after last season’s Europa League victory
- Blues, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham provide the Premier League challenge
Chelsea are facing a ‘big challenge’ to contribute to English football’s Champions League resurgence but determined to ‘show what we’re about’, according to manager Frank Lampard.
After last season’s all-Premier League final Lampard concedes that Chelsea’s transfer ban, which limited the squad strengthening they could carry out this summer, could impact their prospects in Europe’s biggest competition.
Chelsea are back in the Champions League this term after last season’s successful Europa League campaign, and join league champions Manchester City, holders Liverpool and last year’s runners up Tottenham in providing the Premier League challenge.
Frank Lampard concedes that Chelsea’s transfer ban could impact their European prospects
Lampard said: ‘I think the Premier League is so strong and that’s clear when you have two teams in the final. Manchester City are clearly an absolutely top team in world football.
‘The English, we are strong at the moment. Hopefully that continues because that’s great for us as Englishmen.
‘We’re happy to do that. It will be a big challenge for us. We know the difficulties of the ban etc and where we’re at. But it shouldn’t take away from the great challenge we have to try to do well in it.
Chelsea are back in Champions League this term after last season’s Europa League triumph
‘Talking to the players, they want to play in it and show what we’re about.’
Chelsea’s third-placed league finish would have been enough to get them back in the Champions League.
But winning the Europa League earned the spot in pot one meaning they will avoid the very top seeds in Thursday’s group stage draw in Monaco.
Lampard, a Champions League winner in 2012, said: ‘It’s important for us. It’s where we want to be.
‘It gets tougher every year, and finishing third and winning the Europa League obviously got us that status.
‘I had some great nights in it. Great moments. Great memories. It’s nice that we’re there. It means we have to keep our league performance up to make sure we’re in it next year.
‘We have to meet that challenge head on. It’s the greatest competition in club football. I was lucky enough to win it once. I’m looking forward to working in it as a manager.’
Manager Lampard won the Champions League as a Chelsea player back in 2012