Lampard admits Chelsea have a 'mindset' problem after draw at Bournemouth

Lampard admits Chelsea have a 'mindset' problem after draw at Bournemouth

The bodies of Chelsea are one issue, the minds are evidently quite another. So it was with good reason, and supported by some convincing numbers, that Frank Lampard homed in on the latter after watching a familiar problem play out on Saturday.

The Chelsea manager had just watched his side recover a draw from a defeat that should have been a win when a pair of troubling patterns were put to him. One was the tendency for his side to concede shortly after half-time and the other was their habit of shipping goals in clusters.

Against Bournemouth, they ticked both boxes, having gone from 1-0 up at the break to 2-1 behind to goals from Jefferson Lerma and Josh King in the 54th and 57th minutes, before Marcos Alonso inflated the life raft. To spot a theme, go back to Tuesday against Bayern Munich, when they were at 0-0 on 50 minutes, and two down four minutes later.

Across 40 fixtures in all competitions, Chelsea have conceded eight times between half-time and the hour mark, and in six matches have given up two goals in any 10-minute period. In a race for the top four that is looking ever closer, they are the details that could leave Chelsea short.

Lampard recognises it, as evidenced by the speed of his answer when asked what caused it. ‘Mindset,’ he said. ‘You have to have a mindset within the group on the pitch because those things... We spoke at half-time about what Bournemouth might do, and then you rely on the players on the pitch and together they have to solve problems. It has been an issue.

‘Games change with goals, the atmosphere in the stadium changes and sometimes you have to dig in and concentrate that little bit more as a group. That we have been tested with a lot. We have talked about it a lot. Players have to find that solution on the pitch.’

The pressure in those situations would ease if Chelsea took more of their own chances, Lampard said. On Saturday they had 23 shots on goal to Bournemouth’s nine, including an almighty shank from close range by Olivier Giroud at 1-0 up, and the miss laid the platform for more dropped points from a winning position.

They have now given up 15 points in that manner — the fourth highest in the division.

It has contributed to the fact Chelsea have not won back-to-back league fixtures since November, though they are at least hopeful that Callum Hudson-Odoi is close to returning from injury. The timeframes for Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante and Tammy Abraham are less clear, though, with the latter having gone to Barcelona for assessment on his ankle problem.

For Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, it was another improved performance after their lengthy slump, albeit they only have two league wins in 11. ‘The last five games the lads have sort of known there is no time to waste,’ he said. ‘They know we have to commit to every match because if we wait any longer there will be no chance to achieve what we need to achieve.’ Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook
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