Di Matteo keen to keep Lampard

PA Sport
Frank Lampard looks certain to play from the off in Chelsea's Champions League clash against Nordsjaelland
.

View photo

Frank Lampard looks certain to play from the off in Chelsea's Champions League clash against Nordsja …

Roberto Di Matteo has insisted he wants Frank Lampard to see out his career with Chelsea despite rationing the midfielder's game time.

Lampard looks certain to play from the off in tonight's Champions League clash against Nordsjaelland in Denmark after failing to start the Blues' last three matches. His omission for those games has fuelled speculation about whether the final year of the 34-year-old's current contract will herald the end of his glittering Stamford Bridge career.

But manager Di Matteo said: "Frank is still a key player and very important for us. He's been so successful with this club and I hope he stays for the rest of his career with us."

He added: "Frank is an intelligent man and I have a very good relationship with him. We talk and, as much as nobody likes to be on the bench and being disappointed at not playing, I hope he understands. His attitude has shown he supports the team and that's very important."

Communication and a winning run are the two main reasons why Lampard appears to have reluctantly accepted his lot under Di Matteo, having fallen out with the Italian's predecessor Andre Villas-Boas.

Di Matteo said: "We had conversations at the back end of last season, given the amount of games that we were playing, and I tried to get the best out of him by not playing him in all the games, just to make sure he could be ready for the matches he did play.

"This year, it looks the same. We have so many games to play and playing every three days is difficult for any player. It's just like that.

"I have been trying to do it with everybody but it's been a question of where we have options and making sure we always have energetic and dynamic performances. It's done on a game-by-game basis, always looking at the balance of the team."

Lampard has been exposed by top-class opponents playing in a midfield anchorman role, but Nordsjaelland are unlikely to overrun him and whoever he plays alongside.

The England midfielder seems certain to play an increasingly limited role in big matches thanks to the ascendancy of the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar.

View comments (0)
Write for Yahoo Sport
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 17 minutes ago
  • Premier League - Rickie Lambert completes West Brom switch from Liverpool

    Premier League - Rickie Lambert completes West Brom switch from Liverpool

    West Brom have completed the signing of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee. More »

    Eurosport - 1 hour 1 minute ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 1 hour 48 minutes ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 1 hour 44 minutes ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago