Lampard aware of failings
Frank Lampard has admitted that Chelsea are not as good as they once were but feels they should still be able to finish in the top four.
Last Updated: 27/03/12 8:15am
Frank Lampard has admitted that Chelsea are not as good as they once were but feels they should still be able to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
The Blues were hoping to challenge for the title this season but have endured a frustrating campaign and remain in danger of missing out on UEFA Champions League football for next season.
While there have been some notable highlights, including a famous comeback against Napoli a fortnight ago, Lampard recognises there have been too many occasions when the performances have not been up to standard.
Having lost to Manchester City last week, Chelsea played out a lacklustre goalless draw with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to remain five points adrift of their London rivals in the race for fourth place.
Lampard told Chelsea TV: "The fixtures and where we are in the table doesn't lie - we're not as good as we used to be.
"We used to have a fortress here and, for whatever reason, we're just not doing it. It's something we must all put right.
"You know a derby against a very good Tottenham side is going to be tough. But I don't think we were at it enough. We had to play more with the urgency we showed against Napoli.
"Against Tottenham, we didn't really do enough to lift the fans.
"We had the high of Napoli, then we got beaten by Manchester City and now we need to up it again."
No room for error
Chelsea have finished in the top four for nine successive seasons and Lampard has challenged his team-mates to keep that run going.
"Chelsea should be in the top four. No disrespect to the other top-five clubs but, with the ability we have, we should be in there," he said ahead of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Benfica.
"It is far from over. There is no point being downbeat about it at the minute.
"It's five points and the gap has been bigger than that. It's up to us now to get ourselves right for Benfica and the league games coming up."
Admitting Chelsea were outsiders in the race for fourth place, Lampard added: "That's due to dropping points throughout the season, not drawing with Tottenham at home.
"It's losing games we should have won home and away.
"We have to take all the league games now as knockout matches.
"It's very cliched but we're fighting from behind, and if we lose a game and lose points then the gap is bigger and the amount of games left is shorter.
"So we know, especially after that draw, the gap is still five points and there is no more room for slip-ups."