Football

Frank Lampard warns against panic purchases after recent EPL defeats

Ahead of January transfer window, Chelsea boss cautions about being reactionary after recent EPL defeats

Frank Lampard has urged caution ahead of the January transfer window and insists that Chelsea "cannot be too reactionary" to their recent run of form.

The Blues have been going through a tough patch, with three defeats in their last four English Premier League fixtures, including a 3-1 loss to Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The latest defeat came after Everton sacked manager Marco Silva two days before the game, with Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson taking interim charge for the game on Merseyside on Saturday, in which the hosts deserved all three points.

                 GROUP H
CHELSEA LILLE

But while Lampard was critical of his side's performance in the game, he insisted that the defeat had not changed his mindset when it comes to what business the Blues need to do next month, after Chelsea's transfer ban was reduced following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

As such, Chelsea can now sign players in the January transfer window, but Lampard has warned against the need to go out and splash the cash in the wake of the recent run.

"You have to be careful not to be too reactionary. Ban lifted, lose at Everton it might be easy to come to that conclusion," he told a pre-match conference ahead of tomorrow morning's Champions League match against French club Lille.

"As much as at the start of the season that we have got these young boys, we don't need anyone.

"As a club like Chelsea, there has to be a balance. We have a strong squad, but we have to look at what we can strengthen?

" There will be times going forward, whether it's January or next summer, there will be times and opportunities to strengthen.

"You do learn as you go along with the players, every day in training and at games. But it certainly hasn't changed my mindset right now."

He had good news on the injury front, confirming that Antonio Ruediger will be in the squad to face Lille.

Ruediger has not featured since being injured in the 5-2 win against Wolves at Molineux back in September.

But he was out training with the team yesterday and Lampard confirmed he was in contention to feature, although he said Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud will not be involved against Lille.

"He is in the squad, so he has a chance. It is good to have him back," the manager said. "He is training really well and got his fitness work done. His injury is healed.

" Tomori is out, he has a small, tiny strain around his hip area. It has bothered him for a little bit so we have taken him out for a couple of days. Olivier is still out as well."

Ross Barkley was with the rest of the squad, though, having fully recovered from injury and being part of the team who lost to the Toffees on Saturday.

Chelsea need a win to ensure a place in the knockout stages, although a draw may be good enough for them to progress, depending on other results.

Football