Lampard bemused by Chelsea criticism

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The Independent Football

Midfielder Frank Lampard insists there is no panic over Chelsea's poor form despite boss coach Carlo Ancelotti's dissatisfaction with their performance against Apoel Nicosia.

The Blues limped to an unconvincing 1-0 win away over the Cypriots in the Champions League on Wednesday night, just days after their 3-1 defeat at Wigan in the Barclays Premier League.

Chelsea's next test comes against title rivals Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but Lampard maintains the criticism his team have received is wrong.

"I don't know why people say we're not clicking," said the 31-year-old. "We have only lost one game this season. We lost against Wigan and we didn't play well there at all.

"We went to Apoel and won so that's what counts. If you look over the season, we have clicked together as a team. We try to win every game and when we don't we just try harder in the next match.

"It's a big game on Sunday against Liverpool but they lost the other night and will be trying to improve as well.

"The added bonus is that we have won our match in Europe and with a clean sheet as well. We hope to qualify as soon as we can."

The England international heaped praise on match-winner Nicolas Anelka, who scored the game's decider in the first half.

Anelka has netted both winning goals for Chelsea in the Champions League this season and ensured Didier Drogba's three-game ban has not hurt them.

"Nicolas is a top player and performed for big periods when Didier was out last season," added Lampard.

"He can be a lone striker or excel when someone is alongside him. His finish was top quality."

Meanwhile, the club's assistant coach Ray Wilkins has revealed how difficult it has been with three managers in as many years - with Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and now Ancelotti.

"It has been very, very eventful," said Wilkins. "It has been an absolute delight being back, working with such great guys and just being around a great club now.

"But three different managers hasn't been ultra-easy because everybody has a different philosophy on the way the game is played.

"Thankfully it has been three very nice guys which has made it a very pleasant relationship so from that aspect, no problem whatsoever. And thankfully as well the lads have been playing some great football."

Wilkins was initially recruited when Steve Clarke opted to move across London for greater coaching responsibility under Gianfranco Zola at West Ham.

The role left behind, providing knowledge of the English game and communicating with top-level players and the media as an aid to Scolari, was ideally suited to him.

"Felipe was a smashing fella and it was just a great shame that it didn't work out for him," said Wilkins.

"But these things happen in football. Guus came in and the atmosphere changed around the players and we became successful.

"Now Carlo is here and he has been extremely successful at other clubs and again is a very nice guy so from that aspect - it's simple.

"But obviously with the different philosophies that they have all had, I have had to change how I have thought about a lot of things to come into line with the way they work. But I have enjoyed every minute."

Wilkins added: "I do understand the way Carlo thinks about stuff.

"I can relate that to the players when he is asking them to do certain things and a few have said does he mean I do this when in fact he doesn't. That has been a bonus."

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