Lampard: Chelsea Fans Love What I’m Doing With The Academy Players

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For many years, Chelsea fans have been crying for a manager that will promote youth and give the club’s youngsters a chance.

For over five years, Chelsea youth team have been dominant in England and in Europe, but there hasn’t been a pathway into the first team. But Blues legend and current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has shown that he can give the youngsters a chance if they are good enough to play.

Lampard featured five academy players in the Champions League clash against Lille on Wednesday night, as it was even a Champions League debut for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James.

Speaking after the victory at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lampard revealed that the club and fans are pleased with academy players coming through, but this goes beyond that, admitting that the youngsters have the quality to play.

Lampard said: “As a side story it’s special. The Academy are getting the recognition they deserve for the work they’ve done. The fans are loving it, the club are loving it and the players are responding.

“But this isn’t a game for niceties, we have to go and win these matches and improve all the time. There were loads of signs of team improvement, and individuals. Reece James for instance was thrown into his first Champions League game and looked so comfortable.”

Lampard praised his youngsters and urged them to even do more.

The Chelsea boss added: “The young players are responding, and they have to keep doing that because this Champions League level is something else. They did well tonight and they can do even better.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.