Lampard backs Chelsea youngsters after impressive debuts

Manager Frank Lampard singled out teenage midfielder Billy Gilmour for a special mention after a Chelsea side full of young talent thrashed Grimsby Town 7-1 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

Reece James, who like Gilmour made his full Blues debut, caught the eye at right-back with a stunning long-range goal and a couple of assists in a rampant team performance.

Defender Marc Guehi also impressed on his debut and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored and completed the full 90 minutes on his first-team return from injury. There were also debut appearances off the bench for Ian Maatsen and Tino Anjorin during the second half.

Lampard praised them all but his message to them was clear: the hard work starts now.

Lampard said: “The young players have deserved to get into the team. From Billy Gilmour it was a fantastic full debut; he ran the game from midfield.

“Marc Guehi was solid and they have deserved their starts from the way the way they train with us and the way they play for the Under-23s. They have been outstanding this year.

“Now the hard work really begins to try to get in there regularly and show they are worthy of being in the squad.”

The Blues will play Manchester United in the last-16, with the tie to be played in the week beginning Monday, October 28.

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