Lampard welcomes ‘nice step forward’ for Hudson-Odoi

Boss Frank Lampard says he is pleased with the progression showed by Callum Hudson-Odoi and challenged the England international to continue improving.

The 19-year-old had to have surgery after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon back in April and scored his second goal of the season in a standout performance against Nottingham Forest, which helped put the Blues through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

And his manager wants the talented youngster to kick on from there.

“I think it was a good performance,” Lampard said. “Pleased to see him being high up the pitch and being aggressive, because I know he wants to get at people, which is what he’s there for.

“He’s got the ability to do that. He gets his goal with a great strike, and hits another strike late on.

“It’s been an interesting 12 months for him, when you consider how young he is. You have to take that into account. Last year, everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury and comes back very early.

“That’s why, when he did come back, there were issues with getting him absolutely tip-top in terms of the injury that he’d had. He’s in the spotlight because of his new contract and who he is.”

Lampard added: “I think it was a nice step forward for him today. The next challenge will be [to see] next time he plays if he can do that, if he can do more, and keep sustaining that improvement.”

But Lampard is wary of demanding too much from him too soon, given his tender age and the severity of his injury.

“When you’re a player of speed or sharpness as your main weapon then, of course when you’ve had an injury that severe, that weapon is slightly held back for a while,” Lampard explained.

“He’s done a lot of work, and there’s a lot of strength work he needs to do – generally, anyway, because he’s a young player.

“But the same thing happened with Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] now. We’re now getting him a bit more towards where he has that acceleration, which makes him the player he is.

“There’s a lot more to come from him.”