Frank Lampard took over at Chelsea last summer.
And one of the biggest challenges he has had to face all summer is to make the squad ready for life without Eden Hazard.
“When you lose a player of the impact of Eden Hazard, we knew the players sometimes relied on his moments of magic to win us games,” the Chelsea boss said in the season review ‘Frank Lampard: Coming Home’. “It was a case for me of how can I fill that gap? I fully understand why some pundits didn’t give us a chance to come in the top four.”
Lampard added: “When you have players coming back from loans in the Championship who need to play 50 games, there will be difficult times.
“To be able to sustain Champions League football was a huge achievement for the club, but at no point was I forced to play the academy boys. I felt if they were going to play for us they would have to do so on merit.”
“To be able to sustain Champions League football next year was a huge thing for the club,” said Lampard. “It should give confidence now. Fourth was an achievement this year but I don’t want to be saying that next year.
“If we keep moving forward, we want to be saying, ‘how do we close the gap going forward?’ and that’s now our challenge.
“Personally, I have a real desire to never settle on where we are today. I always want more. I don’t want to set huge markers on we are going to be, that would be the wrong approach.
“Let’s work daily to improve, close the gap above us and find more consistency in ourselves. Lots of things this year give us reason to believe. I have a very clear idea about where I see a need for improvement.”