Lampard convinced Chelsea can be champions

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The Independent Online

Frank Lampard handed Chelsea a huge boost for their faltering Barclays Premier League title defence before declaring he has "no doubt" they will retain their crown if they repeat yesterday's performance at Tottenham.

Lampard made a surprise comeback from three-and-a-half months out injured in the Blues' 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.



The 32-year-old played the final 12 minutes of a game the champions should have won, with Didier Drogba missing a stoppage-time penalty that would have put his side back on top of the table.



The result extended Chelsea's worst run for a decade but the performance was a step in the right direction from their previous four winless league matches.



The west Londoners ended the weekend a point off the summit and midfielder Lampard reckoned emulating yesterday's peformance for the rest of the season would be enough to clinch the title.



"If we play with the spirit we played, I have no doubt we'll win the league, because we've got the quality in our team," Lampard told Chelsea TV.



"Injuries have been tough on us, certain moments have been tough on us.



"But with the spirit and ability we've got in our team, if we play like that, I've got all confidence that we can do it.



"It's very tough. We have to fight on a few fronts.



"Man City are there now; Man United, Arsenal as we know; teams like Tottenham are pushing behind.



"So we have to be at our best. But I think if we are at our best then I think we can go and win it."



Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed after yesterday's game that Lampard would play a friendly on Thursday and, all being well, would start Sunday's mouthwatering clash with Manchester United.



The player himself revealed he would also spend the week practising penalties after deciding not to pull rank on the hapless Drogba at White Hart Lane.



"I trained two days with the lads this week and haven't practised a penalty in three months," said Lampard, the Blues' spot-kick specialist.



"I always like to practise them and I thought it would've been wrong for me to come on and try to take personal glory scoring a winner on my return rather than Didi take it, who's been fit and playing and practising and scoring them.



"Listen, I could easily say I would've buried it but that's not the case always - we can all miss them - and credit for Didier for stepping up.



"Hopefully, I can practise some in the week and get back on them."

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