Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has given his full backing to captain Cesar Azpilicueta to overcome his mistake-ridden run of form.
The Spain defender has created a number of mistakes during the Blues’ Premier League matches of the year, that has been met with criticism by several supporters and commentators.
But Lampard insists that his skipper gets the calibre to come through this period and re-emerge as one of the club players before their clash.
“I have played Azpilicueta and understand him very well and understand what he is – he is the first player to endure,” Lampard said.
“The reason he is captain is because of that attitude and professionalism. He has been incredible and won a whole lot, and been central to winning a lot. He is not just been a bystander. He’s been right in the center of everything.
“He is going to be mindful more than one of his form, and what it implies, and also be the first person to wish to tackle it. He is a major player for us, a fantastic character and I am surely behind him, and I see no problem.
“I remember playing with much better players than I was, who had little moments in their professions for whatever reason. The ones come through it and Azpilicueta is a player.
“I don’t think he has any significant difficulties. It’s the day. Players have to put up with this and I have got no issue.”
Lampard, who is expected to try and integrate youngster Reece James at right-back following his injuryindicated Azpilicueta could return at some stage to a function at centre-back this season, at which he thrived under Antonio Conte.
“Maybe [he can play centre-back],” Lampard said. “I know at times last year that he played with centre-back and also did so at a three at the Conte area. I think we have choices. Reece [James] can also be elastic.”
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