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Chelsea youngsters Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been out for months and both got their first competitive game of the season in Chelsea’s 7-1 defeat against Grimsby Town.
The duo have been featuring for the U23 side as they sought to regain fitness having been out for months.
Blues boss Frank Lampard saw the Carabao Cup third round clash against Grimsby Town as the perfect opportunity to feature the duo, and they both impressed, lasting 90 minutes on the pitch.
Reece James was one of the stars on show as he scored a goal and assisted two, and Lampard was impressed.
“His game will get much better,” insisted Lampard.
“He has been out a long time and he has only played minimal minutes in the Under-23s, but Reece’s performances last year at Wigan when he was in the Team of the Year in the Championship showed the talent he has got and he is going to be a big player for this club.
“He has got a great player and person to look up to in Cesar Azpilicueta who is in his position. He showed his real quality on the ball today so that is just the start for Reece.”
Hudson-Odoi was a threat all game and scored an 89th minute goal to cap off a good performance that left Lampard impressed.
Lampard revealed that he had to give Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic a half-time lecture to get behind the Grimsby defence in the second half.
“In the first half. With Callum and Christian Pulisic as wingers, the message was to hurt the Grimsby line and run in behind and end up in areas inside the box where you are taking people on,” pointed out Lampard.
“It wasn’t happening and at half-time the message had to be reinforced pretty strongly. In the second half we managed to get in better positions. Callum’s talent means he has to work hard to run behind people, to get at people and be inside and outside and work off the ball. That is where he needs to learn, because if he wants to be in the team week in week out that is what he will have to do.”