Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admitted to having concerns after a dismal recent run of results left his team eighth in the Premier League table, stating several of his players were lacking in the “basics” during the defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Goals from Wilf Ndidi and James Maddison consigned Chelsea to a 2-0 loss, a fifth defeat in the last eight league outings for the Stamford Bridge club.
The former midfielder has come under increasing pressure of late and appears no closer to turning matters around, with West Ham the latest side to leapfrog the Blues in a congested top half of the table after their own win over West Brom earlier in the evening.
Questioned as to why his team succumbed at the King Power Stadium, Lampard pointed the finger at a lack of work rate and quality from his players on the night.
“We got beaten by a better team. They showed moments of quality, we looked like a team out of form," he told Sky Sports after the match.
"There were quite a lot of moments when our sharpness [wasn’t] there in the first half. The bare minimums are to sprint and cover ground and too many of our players didn’t do it.
“The most disappointing is to lose the game. Leicester can beat anyone but [doing] the basics off the ball are important.”
Amid the slump which has seen Chelsea drop four places and five points outside the top four, Lampard has found it difficult to pinpoint how to arrest the slide in a team which has plenty of new, and in his view inexperienced, faces.
"It’s just a loss. It’s a small step backwards. [Yes I’m] worried, from the form we were in, to the form we’re now in, we should be better than five losses in eight. It takes character to turn from that; we were flying a month ago and it’s a big lesson for some of the players that if you come off it and have a lack of confidence, you’ve got to get youself out of that hole.
By contrast, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was suitably delighted with his side’s overall performance level, particularly with their fast start and impressive attacking play early on, before adapting later to see out the win and move top of the table.
“As a team collectively we were excellent. Last 20 minutes our defensive shape allowed them to play through us so we changed and that nullified a lot of their threat.”