Lampard: It’s not just about systems

Frank Lampard has played down the significance of his decision to start with three centre-backs against Southampton.

Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by the Saints – the third defeat Lampard’s side have suffered in their past three home league matches.

Lampard stuck with the 3-4-3 system which worked so well in the recent win at Spurs.

This time he changed at half-time, reverting to a 4-2-3-1 set-up, but the Blues boss insisted the loss could not be simply put down to his choice of formation.

Lampard said: “We can hone in on systems and what difference they make – and they clearly do, but some things don’t.

“We played with a three in the first half and controlled the game. We didn’t do enough in an offensive way.

“Second half we looked brighter for a bit but at the same time possibly more open to the counter-attack. So it’s not just about systems.”

Lampard also backed Callum Hudson-Odoi, who gave the ball away in the build up to the opening goal and was generally poor before being taken off midway through the second half.

Lampard said: “I thought he put a lot of effort in. He was trying things, making runs and it wasn’t quite coming off for him in the first half.

“He’s come off the back of a big injury and there’s certainly a period where we have to stick with him through that.

“He’s very young. There was a lot of talk last year about a contract and would he or wouldn’t he (sign it) and now he has.

“He’s in a period now where he needs to get his head down and work – and he knows that – to show what he can be for this club. It’s down to him now.

“I showed the faith in him by playing him today and I’ll continue to do that. We have to go with him a little bit.

“I saw an effort and a desire that I’ve seen in training these last couple of weeks.”