Lampard hungry for more cup success

The Chelsea vice-captain is just nine goals short of moving clear

as Chelsea’s all-time top scorer in the FA Cup. His 17 strikes put

him fourth behind Peter Osgood on 19, Roy Bentley on 21 and Bobby

Tambling who netted 25 times in the competition. But Lampard’s

goals tally in the competition this season has been something of a

disappointment to the England international. Only one of his 17 cup

strikes has been recorded this season when he notched against

Watford in their 5-0 demolition of the Championship side. Now the

England midfielder wants to close in on Osgood’s total against a

Stoke side that will allow him little room in a physical battle at

Stamford Bridge. “Normally I have managed to score a few in the

earlier rounds,” said Lampard. “But I would rather score them in

the later rounds when they can be really important. “The FA Cup has

been really good for me. I have scored in semi-finals and of course

the final, and I have had a hat-trick against Macclesfield and a

few twos. “I have always enjoyed the FA Cup games. I grew up on FA

Cup football so there is always a little edge to it, for us English

boys particularly. Scoring goals, especially important ones, is

special. And the cup final goal is very special to me.” Chelsea’s

victory over Everton at Wembley last May ensured that Lampard

equalled his father’s FA Cup tally of two winners’ medals. But

Chelsea’s form in recent weeks has caused the squad and the

management team some discomfort and Stoke, victors over Manchester

City in the fifth round, will provide a stern test of their spirit.

They face City on the back of two successive defeat – 2-1 against

Inter Milan in the Champions League and a 4-2 humbling at home to

Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League last weekend.

Lampard knows the team’s recent performance level needs improving

upon for Chelsea to be confident of progressing into the

semi-finals. But so far no team has stopped Chelsea getting on the

scoresheet and with Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba in

outstanding form with 25 goals this term, the omens look good for

Chelsea to bag a place in the last four. “It doesn’t especially

feel like we have been scoring a lot because we are not playing

well at the moment,” admits Lampard. “But we have had a few very

good victories and at home particularly we have scored a lot of

goals.” Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins says there is no panic

in the camp after those back-to-back defeats. Instead, Wilkins is

keen to focus on the bigger picture and the fact Chelsea remain top

of the Premier League, in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and

still in the Champions League. “We are in the first week in March,

and 19 other Premiership sides would sooner be in our position than

theirs,” said Wilkins. “That’s where we are, top of the Premiership

playing in the quarter-final of the FA Cup and very pleased with

the situation in which we find ourselves. “We’re not having a dip

in form. Results haven’t quite gone the way we’d have liked. We’ve

just lost a little bit of concentration at certain times and will

rectify that this week. “We’re happy with the way we’ve played but

not the goals we’ve conceded. We’ve created a number of chances,

that on another day we would have scored, but we have scored a

number of goals and there aren’t too many clubs that have scored as

many as us, so from that aspect we’re happy with the way things are

going “If you make errors you will lose goals, it’s as simple as

that, and we have to be extremely concentrated in what we do.”