‘This is something that has affected everyone and their families’: Chelsea boss Frank Lampard defends players fearing Premier League return due to coronavirus health and safety concerns
- Frank Lampard’s Chelsea squad could to return to full training next week
- The Blues coach says he will look out for his players’ wellbeing if they do return
- Some top-flight players are said to be scared of returning to to health concerns
- Lampard says he wants to keep the club’s out-of-contract stars beyond June 30
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard jumped to the defence of players fearing the Premier League’s return but says his Chelsea squad are raring to go for the season’s resumption.
Talks are continuing to take place regarding the resumption of the Premier League amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with health and safety paramount to any discussions.
And Lampard, who says that the Blues are on track to return to training next week, is looking forward to the 2019-20 season resuming again, and insists he will be keeping an eye on his players’ welfare during the new few weeks.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has defended players fearing the Premier League’s return
The 41-year-old told Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp: ‘I think the important part of my job at the moment is a lot of empathy with the players.
‘You can’t just say, “lads, we’re going this way”, because this is a situation none of us have known.
‘This is not a players’ strike, it’s not a player not wanting to train, or a player having an argument with another player, this is something that has affected everyone and their families.’
Despite the obvious concerns in place, Lampard revealed his players want to return to training as soon as possible and praised the mentality of his playing squad.
Lampard’s Chelsea side could start training next week amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis
But the Chelsea manager insists he will look out for the wellbeing of his players
He added: ‘My lads, I know – and I’m sure all managers will speak in the same way – they’re good lads. Their intentions and their feelings for their families are good.
‘They want to get here and work. They can’t wait to get back and play football.’
Another concern for the Chelsea manager is the future of his players whose contracts run out in six weeks time.
Attacking options such as Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud alongside back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero are all out of contract at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Lampard revealed he wants to keep out of contract stars Willian and Pedro beyond June 30
Striker Olivier Giroud could also leave this summer but Lampard wants his squad to stay intact
However, Lampard said he wants to keep all of the out-of-contract players on board until at least the end of the season but confessed he did not know whether this would be possible.
‘It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway. We have big players [who are out of contract] so that’s something I’m obviously looking at very carefully.
‘The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feeling for the club.
‘Of course they’ll be concerned about themselves, in terms of how training is now is and if the pre-season is a rush they’re going to have to make sure they’re alright.
‘So it’s going to have to be something we have to look at, hopefully we can make that arrangement can be made so they can stay with us.
‘I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works.’
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