Friday, September 25, 2020

Lampard: “Pulisic and Ziyech close to being available”

Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard provided fitness updates of his earlier today in his pre-Westbrom press conference.

The 42-year-old confirmed that both Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are unavailable for the trip to the hawthorns but said they have started training with the group.

Lampard also reiterated that he won’t ask too much from Pulisic who has a track record of muscle injuries since the time he has signed for Chelsea.

"No, Christian isn't ready for the squad, nor is Hakim Ziyech, but they're both training with us now, which is good news," 

 

"We hope to have them with us in proper match contention over the next week or two."


"There's always a concern about a player's fitness when the history says there's been some injuries. Last season we did have them with Christian, I was questioned many times on him, when he did and didn't play," 


"Of course, when you look at a player with his recent record, you're trying to find the right balance of getting the best out of him, which we saw in big periods last year, and making sure you don't overcook him and leave him susceptible to injury, particularly with a player of his explosive pace and balance. It's a fine line. 


"We're working on that and Christian's also very open to that. He wants to play, he's so hungry to play and he's very nearly fit now, but it's certainly something we have to manage with him this season. 


"We've all seen the talent and it's something we want to get right. I'm not saying it's a fundamental, chronic issue because it's not, but we want to get as many minutes out of Christian – the really great Christian that we saw lots of last season – on the pitch."


Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are also in contention to start against Westbrom but Lampard insists both players have to be carefully managed during this period of fitness levels


"I believe they are fit enough to start, but I do also have to take into consideration the fact that we play another game with a pretty tight turnaround on Tuesday, then another on Sunday, and then the international players will maybe go and play three games for their country, so I'm managing that one," 


"Having come through that game the other day as they did, I think particularly Thiago did start that game and had 60 minutes in the bank, so that was good to see. 


"With Ben, I'll maybe be a little more cautious just to make sure, his injury's been a bit of a challenging one, so I'll make those calls. But they're in a good place at the moment."


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