Lampard: ‘Fitness was always going to be an issue against a team halfway through their season’
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 11/07/19 6:54am
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admits his side need to improve their fitness after failing to beat Irish club Bohemians.
The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw in their opening pre-season friendly in Dublin after Michy Batshuayi’s opener was cancelled out by trialist Eric Molloy’s late goal.
Chelsea begin the new Premier League season away at Manchester United on August 11, live on Sky Sports, and Lampard admits there is work to do before the trip to Old Trafford.
“Fitness was our issue, we’ve been working hard on it, even this morning,” said Lampard.
“Fitness was always going to be an issue against a team that’s halfway through their season. We certainly pushed ourselves to the limit.
“The quicker we get there the better. It’s about individuals getting fit. Some of the young lads were really good.
“We want to get a level of fitness and intensity in their game.”
Danny Drinkwater was given an opportunity to impress against Bohemians after failing to make a single Premier League appearance under former manager Maurizio Sarri.
Batshuayi, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace, also started the match and opened the scoring after just eight minutes.
Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kurt Zouma also featured after returning from their respective loan spells away from Stamford Bridge and Lampard was pleased with his first outing as Chelsea manager.
“I’ve enjoyed it, we’ve got great support over here,” said the former Derby County manager.
“It was a tough game for us, we’ve only been here for a few days. But I’m pleased with how we got on.
“I’ve been pleased with the players’ attitude since I arrived last week.”