Lampard's league target
Frank Lampard insists Chelsea's UEFA Champions League campaign will not distract them from pushing for a top-four spot.
Last Updated: 02/04/12 3:08pm
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard insists the club's UEFA Champions League campaign will not distract them from pushing Tottenham and Arsenal all the way for a top-four spot.
The Stamford Bridge club are five points behind the north London duo in fifth, meaning they are up against it if they are to guarantee Champions League football via the Premier League next season.
Another route into Europe's premier competition is by winning the trophy itself, with the Blues eyeing a semi-final spot after beating Benfica 1-0 in their quarter-final first leg in Portugal last week.
Lampard believes the Chelsea squad is good enough to go all the way in the Champions League this season but insists that does not mean they are going to lose focus in the league.
"We have to fight on both levels," he told the London Evening Standard. "We certainly don't feel like all our eggs are in the European basket and the league just goes by.
"We have to be aware that Benfica at home is still to get through, then we will potentially face Barcelona or AC Milan in the semi-final and then we have the final.
"To win them all to try to confirm our Champions League status for next year, it is a risky card, albeit one well within our means."
The Blues have enjoyed a revival in form in recent weeks since Roberto Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas as boss at the start of March.
That revival has been good enough to ensure progress in the cup competitions but a mid-season slump in the league had already ended their title ambitions.
Lampard admits it is disappointing for the club not to be in the title running at this stage of the season but believes they are starting to show the consistency required to push the sides above them all the way and end a difficult campaign on a high.
"Where we are now in the table, we're disappointed to not be fighting for first or second but you have to understand that you can't have it your own way every year," added the 33-year-old.
"Manchester United don't win the league every year but we have put ourselves under pressure for fourth spot and if you're being honest about it, Arsenal and Tottenham are in the driving seat. So we really need to go on a stretch of winning games.
"Consistency has been a huge thing for us this year in terms of league form. We have shown glimpses earlier in the season at times. But we need to show that level of performance we did against Napoli and Benfica and do it in the league regularly."