Frank Lampard defended Chelsea’s players after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Brentford.
The result means the Blues remain 11th in the Premier League table and have lost all five of their matches since Lampard returned to the club as interim boss.
The home fans again made their anger clear at another dismal performance at Stamford Bridge. Many booed at the final whistle – and some had left the stadium long before then.
But Lampard insisted there was no shortage of application shown by the team.
He said: “I’m not going to sit here and bemoan the players – the opposite, because I feel for them tonight.
“It absolutely wasn’t an application thing. We controlled the game, created chances, and with 20% more confidence we’d probably win that game.”
It was suggested to Lampard that Chelsea fans would be surprised by him seeming to exonerate the players.
He replied: “Absolutely they’re worried – you’re a Chelsea fan and you’ve been used to 20 years of success and you want more.
“I’ve got no problem with fans booing. I’m not sitting here to go against the fans and say ‘don’t boo the players’. Absolutely not.
“I’ll defend the players because I know that they’re young lads who want to do well.
“You say I’m exonerating the players – far from it, I’m just supporting them.
“They’re disappointed, because they wanted to win that game and they performed, in my opinion, like they wanted to win it.”