Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says the key to keeping a happy squad is ensuring the players feel “valued” and know they are needed to make a contribution when they get their chance.
Chelsea host Manchester United in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday night and Lampard is likely to make some changes from the side that beat Burnley 4-2 on Saturday to earn a seventh consecutive win in all competitions.
Reece James, Marc Guehi and Billy Gilmour all featured in the previous round against Grimsby, while Michy Batshuayi, Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all looking to get game time.
Lampard said recent victories have shown the importance of having a strong squad ready to seize their opportunity.
“There is nothing better than the subs at Newcastle helping us win the game,” Lampard said. “Christian Pulisic got an assist and Mateo Kovacic came on and played well, and it happens against Ajax when Christian assists for Batshuayi.
“That’s a great message for players because it’s horrible not playing. To keep their spirits up so they can come in and be a game-changer is something I am big on.
“We need a big squad if we want to be successful and the players need to feel valued whether they are starting or not. They need to have input when they come on and that is what they are doing.”
Lampard added that there was no danger of them taking it easy in England’s third domestic competition but he is mindful of using his fringe players.
“Every game as a Chelsea player has to be a game you try to win,” he added.
“I won’t take this game lightly even if I make changes. I believe in the squad. If players do step out of the line-up with a view to the coming weeks, it’s about the big picture.
“I suppose I wanted to play every game but the beauty on this side is you see things slightly differently. Demands on players are more.
“I understand how players are, but those that start will give everything and those who don’t will support them hugely. There’s a nice feeling around at the minute.”