Mourinho to manage Lampard use
Thu, 25 Jul 2013 07:06:00
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is determined to get the best out of his players, and says he's happy to rely on the evergreen Frank Lampard.
Mourinho believes the 35-year-old midfielder can be as influential a player in his second spell at Chelsea as during the first, when Lampard scored the goals which sealed the Blues' first championship in 50 years.
Mourinho said: "Performance is how good you are, not your passport or birth certificate. It's about performance, nothing else."
Club record goalscorer Lampard was a near ever-present in Mourinho's first spell in charge and signed a one-year contract extension just before the self-proclaimed Special One's return was confirmed.
Lampard has had an Achilles injury during the club's tour of Asia, which concludes against the BNI Indonesian All-Stars XI on Wednesday, and the future of the midfielder is about management.
"I believe he is the same player (as before), with the difference of, he is 35 and the time (needed) to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 25 to a man of 35," Mourinho said.
"The role doesn't have to change. What has to change is the way we analyse competition.
"Before we didn't analyse, before it was 'every match: he plays'.
"Sometimes I wanted to give him a rest in a Carling Cup match and he said 'if you give me a rest the next match I will not be the same, because I have to play every three days'.
"He can't play 60 matches like he did before, but the quality of the player and what he represents for the way I like to play football is exactly the same."
Mourinho will be keen to field Lampard in the toughest fixtures, like the August 26 Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic believes the fixture offers the opportunity to inflict a damaging psychological blow in the title race.
The match comes amid suggestions Mourinho is playing mind games with new United boss David Moyes and while Chelsea bid to recruit striker Wayne Rooney.
"It's very important for us psychologically to start the season well," Ivanovic said.
"That game will not decide who is going to be champions, but it will decide a lot of things about the confidence and about the team."