Azpilicueta happy to have 'special' Lampard back at Chelsea

Azpilicueta spent two seasons as Lampard's teammate at Stamford Bridge between 2012 and 2014

Azpilicueta spent two seasons as Lampard's teammate at Stamford Bridge between 2012 and 2014 Credit ACTION PLUS

César Azpilicueta believes Chelsea approach the Premier League season with a renewed sense of unity as a result of Frank Lampard's appointment as the squad embrace the new head coach's insistence they take responsibility and mount a challenge despite setbacks over recent months. Frank's experience as a manager is one year in Derby but the football experience he has, playing at the highest level and working under a lot of very good managers, means we have nothing to be anxious about.

"We've only been back just a few days so there had been some pressure on the lads and we have been working them very hard". Our performances were not good enough and the reason they were not happy and negative.

A high level of fitness will be key to the Chelsea legend's favoured style of play, with Pedro Rodriguez saying: "We've been training really hard with Frank this week".

Said Lampard: "Fitness was our issue, we've been working hard on it, even this morning". We are very excited and the only way we can carry it on is by winning together, getting the feeling back of being all together as a club.

He was withdrawn at half-time as the boss made 11 changes at the break to give some more inexperienced players a chance. 'We've been doing that quite well - and sometimes we could have done better. "We have the best academy in England and, obviously, it is a chance for all of them to step up". It will be a lesson for Frank to see players and in a way it will make his mind up.

"We won the Europa League, we finished third and his [Sarri's] choice was to move on, to go back to Italy". Speaking to the Telegraph following the draw against Bohemians in their first pre-season outing, Azpilicueta admitted a desire for the club to rally around their new boss. Michy Batshuayi struck early before the Londoners conceded an equaliser in the 89th minute but this could not detract from the energising effect of the new manager.

"But, over his first week in training, I've seen the way he wants to play, the way he wants us to feel the shirt, the way he wants us to train every day, it is something special".

Azpilicueta, 29, was a team-mate of Lampard's for two years between the Spaniard's arrival from Marseille in 2012 and Lampard's departure in 2014. 'We are delighted to have him as a manager. 'We will try to be with him because we are one and we want to win'.

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