Lampard eager to avert ‘disaster’

Chelsea failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League would be a "disaster", Frank Lampard has admitted.

Failure to win – or score in – either of their last two Premier League games has seen the Blues slump back to fifth in the table with 12 matches to go.

Vice-captain Lampard told BBC Sport: "We must finish in the top four and can never take our eye off the ball. It would be a disaster if we didn’t qualify."

Chelsea will have to wait to get their faltering league campaign back on track, with their next two games Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Everton and Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 first leg at FC Copenhagen. With the league all but surrendered – Manchester United are 12 points clear of Chelsea – the cups are now vital, according to Lampard.

The midfielder said: "There’s huge importance because you can see the league’s going to be difficult and that means it’s more important to reach finals."

The 32-year-old also backed £50million man Fernando Torres to come good after the Spaniard flopped in his first two games for his new club.

"He’s made a huge difference," Lampard said.

"No, he hasn’t scored in two games but all the spotlight is on him.

"There’s a huge responsibility, people are looking to him to do it instantly, but he will make a difference to us.

"He’s a top-class player, he has boosted the lads already and for sure will come good, he’s going to add to us in a big way.

"David Luiz has come in as well and has been fantastic."

Lampard was surprised but delighted with last month’s £75million spending spree on Torres and Luiz.

"I was slightly surprised but it was very exciting and I was pleased," he said.

"It’s a huge boost to have such quality players that we needed at the time.

"We haven’t spent much in recent years compared to some by our standards, but last season we won the double and this was a good time for us to go into the market.

"I’m just thankful we’ve got the funds to do this."