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Lampard: It has not been ideal

26 February 2012 13:29

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard admits his relationship with manager Andre Villas-Boas has been under strain.

There have been rumours Lampard and Villas-Boas have been at loggerheads all season because the England international is unhappy about his lack of time on the pitch.

"I think, from the outside, you can probably see that it's not been ideal but the important thing is not to focus on individual relationships too much," Lampard said.

"It can only be negative and people do like to play on negatives."

Speculation over the last few weeks has suggested Lampard is not the only member of the Chelsea dressing room not seeing eye-to-eye with the former Porto boss.

"There have been certain issues. Certain players, we don't like not to play. But it's never a case of players throwing their toys out of the pram to the detriment of the club," Lampard said.

"I've been here a long time, I'm 33, I'm realistic. It doesn't mean I want to play every game but, if I sit on the bench, I want to see Chelsea win."

"I'm sure we're all frustrated at the minute, everyone who's involved, especially people who have got Chelsea in their hearts, who have been here a long time and want to see us performing as we should do."

"The only way we can push on from now and secure Champions League football next year, potentially move through in the FA Cup and the Champions League this year, is to be positive."

"It's in the club's interest. It's not about any one individual here and negative things can take the shine off it."

Villas-Boas earlier brushed off any suggestions the club's owner Roman Abramovich had told him to start Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien in Chelsea's 3-0 win over Bolton on Saturday, with the trio missing from the side beaten 3-1 by Napoli in midweek.

The beleaguered manager used a touch of sarcasm in his response to the question of whether he had been instructed to play the veterans.

"What are you trying to say? Of course, it's a coincidence. I got the call just this morning to play them, all three of them," he said.

"The day that I feel disrespected in some way about my professionalism, you will find a different person speaking to you."

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