Chelsea 'attitude and focus' is key to Premier League title push, says Frank Lampard
The Blues are within touching distance of league leaders Arsenal
Thursday 05 December 2013
Frank Lampard has warned his Chelsea team-mates their Barclays Premier League title hopes will be determined by attitude.
The Blues maintained the pressure on leaders Arsenal with a hard-fought 4-3 victory at lowly Sunderland on Wednesday night.
For the second time in four days, Jose Mourinho's men had to come from behind to take the points, and England international Lampard knows they will need to show the same kind of resilience at Stoke on Saturday if they are to emerge triumphant.
Asked about his side's developing consistency, the 35-year-old Told Chelsea TV: "That's it, and let's carry on like that.
"A lot of that, for me, is attitude and focus. We have got the squad, we have got the players, we have to get ourselves up for every game, we have to really, really focus because every game is difficult these days.
"More than ever, that's true. Coming up to Sunderland, going up to Stoke on Saturday - if we go up there with the wrong attitude, we won't win, so it's up to us."
It was Lampard who dragged Chelsea back into the game at the Stadium of Light after United States international striker Jozy Altidore had fired the hosts ahead with his first league goal for the club after 14 minutes.
The midfielder found himself completely unmarked in front of goal after Eden Hazard had wrong-footed full-back Phil Bardsley three minutes later and had the simplest of tasks to head home his fifth of the season.
Lampard said: "You get a sense with players like Eden when they are going to cut back and feint to cross. I waited for him to feint and then just arrived at the right time.
"He put in on a sixpence, really. If had missed that, then I would have been a bit upset."
However, if Lampard was the catalyst for what followed, Hazard took up the baton to turn in an individual display which had his manager and team-mates alike purring.
The Belgium international blasted the visitors into a 37th-minute lead, cutting inside Bardsley and Craig Gardner before firing across goalkeeper Vito Mannone and inside the far post.
He repeated the feat 17 minutes into the second half after John O'Shea had levelled for the Black Cats, this time collecting Lampard's back-heel and carving a path through the penalty area before drilling a shot into the back of the net.
Lampard said: "Eden Hazard was different class. It's the best individual performance I have seen in a while.
"The only player who is probably putting in those sort of performances is [Manchester City's Sergio] Aguero.
"This season he has put in some individual performances which I have seen some of those from afar, but to play with, that was just top drawer.
"He kept slipping inside people and getting his shots away. He was the big difference.
"As a team, we played very well, but he was that little bit of extra quality that wins you these games."
Phil Bardsley's 84th-minute own goal looked to have given Chelsea breathing space, but the defender quickly atoned for his error at the other end as the visitors were punished for the third time for failing to defend a set-piece adequately, and that made for a tense conclusion.
Lampard said: "Balls bounced down for them. We can look at ourselves a bit, but you just do have sometimes nights where that happens.
"But we went through on goal a few times, created lots of chances and were very flowing.
"It could have been easier. We certainly dominated big parts of the game and created chances. I thought we played really well, really, apart from that nerve-wracking last eight minutes or whatever.
"I don't know where he [referee Phil Dowd] got six minutes from of extra time, but we had to dig in. But we have got to take a lot from the performance. It's not an easy place to come in December."
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