Chelsea boss Frank Lampard hopes Kai Havertz and Timo Werner will gain confidence from scoring in the FA Cup win over Morecambe.

Werner ended a goal drought of 827 minutes with the home side's second in a 4-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Mason Mount having opened the scoring.

Havertz was involved in his fellow German's goal just before the break and went on to find the net himself against fourth-tier opposition, heading in a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta in the 85th minute.

The duo were part of a strong team selected by Lampard, who believes the big-money signings from the Bundesliga made a "nice little step" forward as they continue to adapt to life at Chelsea.

Discussing Werner, who had not scored for his club since a 4-1 win over Sheffield United on November 7, Lampard said: "I'm pleased for him.

"Strikers want to score goals and he's had plenty of near misses in those times. He's been getting in positions to score goals but they haven't been going in for him.

"I was pleased to play him today and get him confidence from scoring a goal. It wasn't easy, there wasn't space behind them because they defended so deep, but he gets his goal and moves onwards.

"It's important that we understand with both Timo and Kai that they are young lads coming into this league. Tough patches are normal coming into the Premier League - some of the greatest players that have graced it have found that at the beginning.

"That is a nice little step for both of them."

While Werner made way for Olivier Giroud in the 68th minute, Havertz played the full game, during which he completed 89 per cent of his attempted passes.

The former Bayer Leverkusen player also had two shots as he continues to build up his fitness after overcoming COVID-19, with Lampard insisting Chelsea fans must show some patience with the 21-year-old.

"There are numerous levels Kai can go up because of the potential of him as a player," Lampard told the media.

"Even in his short period at Chelsea he's been unfortunate in that he had COVID and suffered a bit in coming back from that.

"Today I saw him - and during the week in training too - looking stronger and fitter. There are levels to go up, but - again - we have to remain patient.

"He's come here with a huge amount of talent but has to get accustomed to the league, accustomed to the speed of the league, the pace of the league. We as a club must support him through that for the future, both him and Timo.

"It was a small step in a big picture, but a step made in a good way for both of them."

The victory means Chelsea have progressed in their third-round tie in every season since 1997-98, when they were eliminated by Manchester United.

Frank Lampard accepts he is under pressure to turn around Chelsea's results and says he is not wanting any favours from owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea have lost four of their last six Premier League matches - as many defeats as they had in their previous 23 - with last week's 3-1 setback against Manchester City leaving them ninth.

The Blues have taken 26 points from their opening 17 league games of 2020-21, three points fewer than at the same stage last season. They have never finished higher than sixth after failing to amass more than 26 points at this stage of a campaign.

Amid reports that Abramovich is lining up candidates to replace Lampard if the barren run continues, the club's all-time leading goalscorer acknowledges he cannot rely on past success to keep him in the job.

"All I want to concentrate on is the job in hand. I can't control certain things - I certainly don't want to rely on anything in the past," Lampard said.

"All I can look at is what I see right now, and what I see right now is one month ago everything was rosy and now a month later - a very quick time - everyone is looking at it negatively.

"I have to be the one to look at it positively. I can't control outside of that. I felt huge support from this club coming back to manage them.

"My time as a player I felt huge support for 13 years. In the end I left because they wanted to move on to other things. I understand what football is. I understand the demands and expectations.

"I don't think I've earned the right for anything that takes me out of that equation. All I can do is be honest about how I see it. I understand there is work to be done here and I understand the position we're in.

"When you're young and have had a tough year, plus new players coming in this year that are expected to drop into the Premier League and produce at a young age, there is going to be challenges. That's all I've got to say. The rest is out of my hands."

Lampard won 11 major honours during his playing days at Chelsea, each of those trophies coming after Abramovich's takeover of the club in 2003.

"I have to sit here and say when the owner came into Chelsea all those years ago, it made my career," Lampard added.

"Maybe I would have gone on elsewhere, but fortunately I had an owner who came in and changed the face of the club. It changed my life. But that shouldn't give me any headstarts.

"I'm here and I think the job I done last year, to get us up to fourth with huge constraints, was a big positive for us. After that now I have to go again.

"I never thought it would be a straight line - I was aware of that coming into the season, particularly when I didn't have time to work with the players.

"I remember in my first year as a player here I was an average Premier League player, year two I got slightly better, year three better and so on.

"When I look at my players I see it like that. I can't jump out of that and dictate what others think - that's beyond me. I'm just here to coach the club as good as I can."

Chelsea can put their league struggles behind them on Sunday as they turn focus to the FA Cup and a third-round tie with Morecambe.

The Blues have progressed past this stage every season since 1997-98 but Lampard will not allow his players to take their fourth-tier opponents lightly in what will be the first ever meeting between the sides.

"I've been involved in games at Chelsea where we have struggled against certain opposition at times," Lampard said. "I know the feeling going into these games - we have to absolutely apply ourselves going into the game to get the right result.

"If we apply ourselves and our preparation is right then the execution is normally right because of the players we have.

"At the same time we need to realise lower-league teams will raise their game and see it as a huge occasion. They'll do anything they can to get a result.

"My players are very aware of that, and if they're not then I'll make sure they are. This is by no means going to be a comfortable afternoon."

Frank Lampard vowed he will fight to make Chelsea successful and declared he would have become a pundit if he had wanted an "easier" life.

The head coach, who in his playing days became Chelsea's record goalscorer, has been unable to prevent a mid-season slump that has seen the Blues slide down the Premier League table.

Four defeats in the last six games has been the sting in the tail after a long unbeaten run, yet Lampard is confident there is enough quality in his squad to turn around their season.

"I've been playing football since I could walk, and playing professionally for 20-odd years," Lampard said.

"If I didn't want that challenge, I could have sat on the telly and done an easier job. I could have been a pundit and commented on what everyone does with hindsight whenever I want, but I don't want to do that."

Instead, he is determined to prove he is the right man for the Stamford Bridge top job, and should he sense any player does not match his ambition, Lampard will consider if they belong at the club.

"The players here I feel have a real desire to get out of this mini run of bad results. I can see that in them," said Lampard. "And if there are players who don't have those concerns to get out, I think they have decisions to make.

"If there are opportunities for players to leave, it would have to be right for them, right for the club and right for myself, then that could happen. But if not, we keep fighting and moving on."

Chelsea have a break from Premier League duties when they face Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday. They lost to Arsenal in the final of last season's competition.

Lampard is set to shuffle his squad for the game with fourth-tier Morecambe, giving fringe players and possibly some academy prospects the chance to impress.

After that it will be back to the Premier League, when he expects senior players to be straining every sinew in training to earn selection.

The likes of summer signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have struggled this season, but Lampard says every player should be desperate to make an impact.

Havertz has found it difficult to make the transition from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, with just one goal, two assists and a mere 23 touches in the opposition penalty area for Chelsea after 15 games in the competition, 10 of which he started.

Last season, at Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz totted up 12 goals, six assists and had 140 touches in the opposition box across 29 league starts and one substitute appearance.

Lampard was determined not to focus on individuals and appears keen to give his recent recruits time to bed in at Chelsea. His concern is a wider one and addresses every player at the club.

He said: "I don't ask for them to be jumping up and down when they go home about how great I am. What I'm asking for when you're here is, to train well, back your team-mates, have a determined attitude every day, and that's it.

"I don't expect it to be a popularity contest with myself - I don't think I ever felt that in a dressing room with any manager in the best of times or in tough times.

"The players have to keep fighting in tough times. The quality is in the group, without a doubt. There will be bumpy moments and we have to stick together."

Frank Lampard admits he is concerned about football in England continuing while the COVID-19 crisis escalates.

On Friday, London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, declared a "major incident" in the capital as hospitals face rising numbers of patients.

The English football authorities are carrying out regular tests on players and club staff, and the number of positive cases is rising, with 40 declared in the Premier League for last week.

Lampard said none of those were Chelsea players but confirmed "a small number of staff" with the London club had tested positive recently.

Sunday will see Chelsea welcome fourth-tier outfit Morecambe to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup third round, with the visitors having recently had to postpone two games because of coronavirus cases in their ranks.

Chelsea head coach Lampard was asked about possible worries, and said: "Not just about playing Morecambe, but I do have concerns because of the current climate.

"We haven't had any players positive in the last couple of rounds – we have had a small number of staff.

"Of course, whilst the country is in lockdown for a reason, while football carries on for a reason, it means there's lots of mixing going on.

"We have to be ultra-careful. I'm not completely comfortable but we have to toe the line, we have to keep playing.

"The safety must come first. There are lots of moving parts and things are changing day by day, week by week."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche this week floated the idea that if footballers were vaccinated, it would lead to savings on testing and such money could be ploughed into the National Health Service.

Lampard said, as Dyche did, that footballers should not be seen to be jumping the queue ahead of those in most need.

He said: "Maybe there's a time down the line when we look at sports but I don't think it's that time right now."

Chelsea will be without the injured Reece James, Andreas Christensen and N'Golo Kante for the Morecambe game, and Lampard is considering giving a first-team chance to a number of academy players.

Lampard's team have lost 3-1 to both Arsenal and Manchester City, either side of a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, in a Premier League slump over the past fortnight.

Previous defeats in mid-December to Everton and Wolves have also played a part in them falling away from being challengers near the top of the table to sitting in ninth place.

They face a fourth-tier side who have won six of their previous seven games, yet this is Morecambe's fourth appearance in the third round of the cup, and they have lost each of their previous games at this stage without scoring.

Chelsea's last third-round defeat in the competition came in 1997-98, when they lost to Manchester United.

Lampard said the challenge of returning his team to peak form "makes my job more exciting".

He accepts "confidence has been hit" and said: "The players need a lift. That's my job, the staff's job, and their job. I don't know any way out of a lack of confidence but to sprint yourself out of it and fight yourself out of it, because those are the rules of football."

He was reminded about Chelsea being stunned 4-2 by Bradford City in the fourth round in January 2015 and said: "Underdogs will turn up, try to win and make things difficult for you.

"Considering our current form, we have to be even more on guard and worry about ourselves, and get ourselves playing well, because if we play well and do our job right, we'll win the game I believe."

Andriy Shevchenko is in the conversation to take over as Chelsea manager if the Blues decide to part ways with manager Frank Lampard.

With Chelsea languishing in ninth place in the Premier League table, Le10sport reports the Ukrainian's name is on the Blues list of possible replacements.

Shevchenko played for the club between 2006 and 2008 and has since forged a managerial career with the Ukraine national team, moving through the under-19 and under-21 teams to the senior dugout.

 

TOP STORY – SHEVCHENKO BEING CONSIDERED AS NEXT CHELSEA MANAGER

Chelsea are studying their options to replace Lampard and his former Blues team-mate Shevchenko is part of the shortlist, reports Le10sports.

The 44-year-old led Ukraine through an undefeated Euro 2020 qualifying campaign to reach the finals, drawing 0-0 in Portugal and beating the European champions 2-1, in Kiev.

Shevchenko remains close to the club as his 14-year-old son, Kristian, plays in the Blues academy and is well liked by club owner Roman Abramovich, say Le10sports sources.

He has only been in charge since July 2019 but Frank Lampard's reign as Chelsea boss is seemingly under considerable threat. 

Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City – a game in which Lampard said his side were taught "serious lessons" – was the Blues' fourth Premier League defeat since the start of December, when they fleetingly topped the table.

Only relegation favourites West Brom (five) and Sheffield United (six) have suffered more in the same period. 

The loss leaves them on 26 points – three fewer than they had at the same stage last season – with history showing the west London outfit have never finished higher than sixth when amassing no more than that number of points after 17 games. 

It marks a sorry transformation in fortunes for Lampard, who is the club's record goalscorer and one of its most beloved former players. 

Here, we look at what has gone wrong for the 42-year-old this season and assess who might replace him, should Blues owner Roman Abramovich decide a change is required.

Big names not performing 

Lampard oversaw a spend of more than £220million in the most recent transfer window, but his two marquee signings have failed to deliver. 

Timo Werner arrived from RB Leipzig in a £47m deal after scoring 28 goals and making eight for his team-mates last season. 

He has contributed four goals and as many assists in his 17 league appearances for the Blues this term, however, while his touches in the opposition box have fallen from an average of 7.65 per game in the 2019-20 season to 5.29 with Chelsea.

He is not the only Bundesliga import struggling, though, and Lampard could do with the real Kai Havertz standing up.

Given he cost Chelsea a fee in the region of £70m when coming in from Bayer Leverkusen, the Chelsea boss would have anticipated more than one goal in his first 15 Premier League games.

Havertz's role at Chelsea may not be exactly as it was at Leverkusen and the 21-year-old has had to contend with a bout of COVID-19, but he is spending the bulk of his time in the same areas of the field and not coming up with the same goods.

He has had just two big chances compared to the 18 he enjoyed during his final campaign with Leverkusen, while his average of 2.5 touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes in England's top flight is comfortably shy of the 5.1 he had in his final season in Germany. 

High-profile coaches lurking 

There are a number of significant names waiting in the wings should Lampard be given the boot. 

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has been linked with the position in recent days and the Northern Irishman has strong links to the club. He was appointed their head youth coach in 2004 before being promoted to reserve team manager two years later. 

He guided the Foxes to fifth place last season – just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea – and has overseen an impressive start to this campaign, with the club third after winning 10 of their opening 17 games. 

Thomas Tuchel would also likely be near the front of the queue after his dismissal as Paris Saint-Germain boss at the end of December. 

Maurizio Sarri was in charge before Lampard and the club might opt to return to Italy for their next man, with Massimiliano Allegri still out of work. 

The 53-year-old left Juventus at the end of the 2018-19 campaign after securing his fifth consecutive Serie A title in charge of the Bianconeri - the kind of record surely guaranteed to turn Abramovich's head.

Not all doom and gloom

While Lampard does have the lowest points-per-game ratio of any permanent Chelsea manager since Abramovic took over the club in 2003 (1.67 per game), there is some cause for optimism for the former England midfielder. 

The Blues play sides from the bottom half of the Premier League table in five of their next seven top-flight matches, while they can prepare for that run with what looks like an easy FA Cup third-round clash against Morecambe, should the weekend tie even go ahead as the League Two outfit grapple with a coronavirus outbreak.

Despite results not going in their favour over recent weeks, Lampard's side are scoring more goals and conceding fewer than they did last season. On average, they are scoring 1.9 goals per game this season compared to 1.8 last term and are letting in 1.2 per game this time around compared to 1.4 in the 2019-20 season. 

There is also the small matter of the Champions League knockout stages to look forward to after they came out on top of Group E with four wins from their six games. 

Atletico Madrid await in the last 16 and Lampard will dearly hope he is still in a position to pit his wits against Diego Simeone come the first leg on February 23.

Frank Lampard's position as Chelsea head coach is under threat, while Tottenham have started talks to extend Harry Kane's deal.

Lampard is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in their past six Premier League games.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to Manchester City has only put further pressure on the Chelsea boss.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD'S POSITION AS CHELSEA BOSS UNDER THREAT

Lampard's job as Chelsea head coach is under serious threat, according to The Athletic.

The report says the Premier League club, who are eighth in the table, have started looking at replacements.

Lampard took charge of Chelsea in July 2019, but they sit seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United – who have both played one game fewer – despite spending heavily in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- Kane's impressive form for Tottenham has seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent reports Spurs have started talks with the forward, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, over a contract extension, even though his current deal runs until 2024.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term injuries, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. But The Athletic reports the Premier League champions are not considering a move for Lille defender Sven Botman.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli is linked with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. Foot Mercato reports Pochettino has spoken with Alli, who is open to a move.

- Staying at PSG and Sky Sports reports the Ligue 1 giants are in negotiations with Everton to sign Moise Kean on a permanent deal worth around €34.6million (£31m). Kean has scored nine goals in 16 games in all competitions on loan at PSG.

- Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona future is uncertain. Todofichajes reports Nice have a strong interest in the defender on an initial loan deal.

- Patrick Bamford has scored 10 Premier League goals this season and the Leeds United forward is out of contract next year. The Sun reports Leeds are set to reward the 27-year-old with a lucrative new deal.

Frank Lampard accepts Chelsea were taught "serious lessons" by Manchester City on Sunday but insists people must be patient as he tries to build a stronger team.

Pep Guardiola's side ran out 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne all scoring in the first half for a side left depleted by a coronavirus outbreak.

Chelsea, who scored a consolation goal through Callum Hudson-Odoi in second-half injury time, only managed two shots on target throughout the contest as Premier League debutant Zack Steffen went largely untroubled.

The Blues have now lost four times in six league games, as many as they did in their previous 23.

They have taken 26 points from their first 17 league matches of 2020-21, three fewer than they managed at the same stage last term, and they have never finished higher than sixth after failing to amass more than 26 points at this stage of a campaign.

With top-two Liverpool and Manchester United seven points ahead of them with a game in hand, pressure is growing on Lampard, whose squad was bolstered by a net spend of more than £220million in the previous transfer window.

While accepting his side were not good enough in the first half, Lampard believes he needs time to bring Chelsea closer to the level of City and champions Liverpool.

"For 10 minutes, we were good, then they started to play and we conceded two poor goals, really poor goals. I felt it knocked us and I felt we didn't react as well as I'd want," he told Sky Sports.

"We knew they'd play without a real striker so we had to make sure that space wasn't there. We allowed the space for De Bruyne to get into the game, and [Bernardo] Silva, and Gundogan, when he gets the opportunity to shoot for the first one.

"So, yeah, serious lessons in the first half, good character in the second half, but the damage was done. The level of play, you're talking De Bruyne, I know he was here when he was a kid and credit to him, he went away and came back and now he's prime Kevin De Bruyne.

"Then you can go through their team and talk about that and the reality is for us, and it's why I spoke earlier in the season, one month ago everyone was saying, 'we can win the league', I was pretty sure in the fact that, where we're at, in terms of the [transfer] ban, in terms of the rebuild and where we're at as a team, in terms of the youth, that there are periods of pain we're going to go through as a club and individuals.

"It was a painful first half. We've got to get better at receiving the ball in tight areas, we've got to understand that, when a press comes, you've got to accept it, or miss the press out. When a team gives you a problem on the pitch, which we talked about before the game, it has to be dealt with in-game. In the first half, we didn't; in the second half, we were better, but the damage was done."

Lampard pointed to his own experience as a player as proof that things can change quickly in football when it comes to teams being successful.

"I'm not leaning on the youth [as an excuse] because I think some of the younger players really came to the fore," he said. "I thought Mason Mount showed second half, Billy Gilmour when he came on, Callum comes on and gets his goal, so it's not about the youth in the squad being the issue. It's just a reality, as I said before. 

"At the minute, we're in a little period, a five, six-game period that none of us like. I think if you probably go back to the first year of City in this regime or Liverpool, you have to fight through that. That comes with reviewing this game and looking at how you can be better.

"If you've been in football this long - and I said this to the players at half-time - I've had those days. I've sat there and had those days and lifted a trophy at the end of the year. I remember getting beaten at Middlesbrough, two or three-nil, [Mark] Viduka and Yakubu [Ayegbeni] up front, and we were sat in the dressing room pretty demoralised. We bounced back because we had a spirit in the dressing room and a quality of player.

"We're in a different period now but any player in football is going to have moments like that. Some of the results we've seen this season for other teams, Man City, Liverpool, et cetera, have been harsh for them. Now, because we're in a bit of a period, it becomes even harsher for us, I won't hide away from that.

"But the players, myself, have to take it on the chin and react. This is football."

When asked if his Chelsea players have the character to get out of their bad run, Lampard replied: "Without a doubt we have that.

"We went 16 games unbeaten and month ago, everyone's asking me, am I going to go, when's the new contract? Now people will be saying the opposite. I can't control that. We can't control that. What we can control is what we do tonight, tomorrow, the next day, what we do against Morecambe, what we do against Fulham, and then I have belief in this group.

"I hope this doesn't sound like I'm criticising players. I'll be the first to look at myself today. But when I look at the squad, I know there is uplift in this team, but I know where we're at because I see it and I know the work it takes to be at the level Manchester City showed today because that's been a lot of years in the making, a lot of players playing in the prime of their careers, showing confidence and character.

"It's normal that, as a squad, we take little knocks along the way. Now is a test."

Even by this season's standards, it was a strange start at Stamford Bridge. 

Manchester City went 4-4-2 despite the notable handicap of having no strikers. Stand-in goalkeeper Zack Steffen seemed to forget the back-pass rule. Chelsea started without Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham but felt looping Hakim Ziyech crosses was still the best Plan A. Kevin De Bruyne, for the 34th time in a row in the Premier League, failed to score with a shot from open play. 

When City suddenly, imperiously took control as Chelsea froze in the bitter London cold, you wondered if those bizarre but competitive first 18 minutes had been conjured up by broadcasters to throw the stay-at-home viewer off the scent, a Premier League narrative directed by the Coen brothers. 

All at once, City were City again. Passes were fizzed into feet, Phil Foden killed the ball softly to Ilkay Gundogan, and it was beyond Thiago Silva's foot and Edouard Mendy's left fingers in a flash.

Two minutes and 37 seconds later, Foden had convinced the watching Gary Neville that he was Marc Overmars reborn: one driving left-wing run pulled Chelsea's defence out of position so badly that, by the time De Bruyne finally slipped him the ball to score, he looked like he'd been standing in the penalty area so long he was trying to remember where he'd buried the suitcase of money. 

There was so much to unpack about the third goal, an assembly of ill-conceived plans at the mercy of a maelstrom, like that tornado at the end of A Serious Man. It also prompted all manner of questions: why did Chelsea have every outfield player in the City half for a free-kick? Why did N'Golo Kante hoof a loose ball straight at De Bruyne's head? Why did Raheem Sterling not score after rounding Mendy - and why did nobody try to take the ball off him once he hadn't? It was such an implausible turn of events that, when Sterling's eventual shot came off the post and nestled at De Bruyne's feet for a tap-in, you had to wonder if that had been the plan all along.

Of course, what City's emphatic 3-1 win over Chelsea tells us is actually not that strange at all. A visiting team with preparations and line-up ruined by a coronavirus outbreak still, at every turn, looked like they were following a plan. Frank Lampard's men looked every bit a team that had managed just one win in their previous five league outings coming into the contest. 

If there was thinking behind his selection, Lampard's methods seemed less precise with every hopeful ball aimed towards every uncertain Timo Werner run. The disconnect between midfield and defence was so stark that Kurt Zouma tried to play in both positions at once and managed to be successful in neither. They were picked apart with the same ease as they were at Arsenal a week ago, by the same City set-up that destroyed Manchester United in an EFL Cup first half last January, but Chelsea didn't look as though they had learned a thing.

Perhaps the real enduring strangeness of 2020-21 is the hasty assessment of these teams' trajectories. When Chelsea moved top of the table by beating Leeds United 3-1 on December 5, many of the 2,000 home fans allowed into the stands must have thought Lampard's £230milllion-plus investment had created a team of title challengers.  

When an unadventurous City were held in the Manchester derby and then by West Brom last month, even Pep Guardiola talked of "the gap between this year and previous years". 

Yet the fact remains City are the strongest challengers to Liverpool's supremacy. Until Callum Hudson-Odoi's injury-time consolation, they had conceded once - an own goal - since losing at Tottenham 11 matches ago. They are four points behind leaders Liverpool and United with a game in hand, having lost once since September. And they are now three points above Chelsea, who have played twice more and who in turn are only three ahead of an Arsenal team tipped for a relegation fight three weeks ago. 

It would be odd indeed to see Chelsea as true title contenders now, or to pretend that Lampard, for all his enduring credit among players, fans and directors, would not be right in thinking: 'Damn, we're in a tight spot.'

Frank Lampard says some context is needed over Kai Havertz's early struggles at Chelsea as he backed the attacking midfielder to show his "undoubted talent" once he fully settles.

The Germany international has struggled to transfer the form he showed at Bayer Leverkusen since joining Chelsea in a reported £72million (€80m) deal in September.

Havertz has just one goal and one assist in 14 Premier League appearances and has been named among the substitutes for the Blues' last three outings.

However, Lampard insists the 21-year-old is still finding his feet after moving to a new country, a period of adaption not helped after being laid low by coronavirus earlier in the season.

"Just as Kai was just coming to terms with the Premier League and he had some really good performances with us he got COVID and he had it quite severely as I think people are really starting to open up about now," Lampard said.

"I have read a few things recently about how much people can suffer with it now. Some people are asymptomatic.

"He definitely has had a bit of a fallout with that physically and I speak with him a lot and we know that. It is something we are trying to help him to deal with.

"The expectation around him, you have to put context into the story. Kai's talent is undoubted. I see that every day. Giving him the time to adapt to the Premier League and to our team is crucial.

"We have seen players come here in the past, didn't really adapt, went elsewhere and come back to the Premier League and absolutely lit it up to unbelievable levels.

"I am not trying to compare Kai directly with that but there are so many stories across the Premier League, not just Chelsea.

"I have full belief in him. We need to give him that time, particularly because of the COVID situation, that is a problem. That is not a non-issue - it is an issue that is related beyond his illness."

Havertz has created 10 chances in his 14 top-flight appearances this term at a rate of 1.1 every 90 minutes, placing him behind fellow attackers Mason Mount (2.4), Callum Hudson-Odoi (2.7) and Hakim Ziyech (2.8).

He averages just 0.9 shots per 90 minutes, meanwhile, which is 14th on the list of Chelsea players, behind even holding midfielder Jorginho (1.1) and full-back Reece James (1.3).

That is in stark contrast to his impressive figures in the Bundesliga when scoring a record-breaking 17 goals - the most in a single season for a teenager - in 2018-19 and following that up with 12 more last term, on top of six assists.

And Lampard is aware of the demands that come with making a high-profile move, having taken time to get going at Chelsea following an £11m switch from rivals West Ham in the early part of his playing career.

"Transferring leagues to a game that is fast and physical week in, week out, every three days is a big ask and not something that should be expected just because we paid this amount for you or you are an international or your age or how many goals and assists you made," he said.

"You can't take anything as a given in that sense. I thought that with Kai anyway and I was there to help him, I am there to help him when he came. I was excited to take on that challenge with him of how this league is going to be different.

"Let's see how you can adapt because your talents are going to be different in a really positive way and help us. The one thing I certainly know as a coach is that I can rely on is my personal experience when it mirrors up slightly.

"I know I had to do extra work myself. Kai is different to me. Particularly with the knockback of COVID. Now we have to give him time to do the extra work now and it will make him stronger in the end. And remember, he is a young player and he needs time."

Frank Lampard believes it is only a matter of time before Timo Werner finds goalscoring form as he backed the Chelsea forward.

Werner last scored for Chelsea on November 7 and the Germany international – signed from RB Leipzig for a reported £47.5million in June – has netted just four times in 16 Premier League games.

But the 24-year-old was again backed by head coach Lampard, whose side host Manchester City on Sunday.

"In terms of scoring goals, I always found – and I'm not talking for Timo here – that every player goes through tough times in front of goal," he told reporters.

"The beauty is that he has been getting chances, because that is definitely a positive, we know that. I found work on the training ground to be the only way to turn that, simple work on the training ground and repetition of finishing, which Timo is doing now.

"When you work like that, it is a matter of time because his natural attributes will get him in front of goal and get him away from defenders and will get him those chances again.

"If his confidence comes down from missing a couple, that is only natural. It is my job to help him with his confidence and be positive and push in a positive direction and I feel the goals will come."

Werner has converted just three of his 11 big chances in the Premier League this season.

Of players who have had at least 10 big chances, that conversion rate (27.3) ranks second lowest, ahead of only Burnley striker Chris Wood (14.3).

Lampard's side have also endured a tough run, winning just one of their past five league games to sit fifth in the table, seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United.

But the former England international said he was embracing the pressure that came with a dip in form.

"I enjoy pressure. If I didn't, I wouldn't have got back into this. I would have walked away at the first chance and that's something I'd never do," Lampard said.

"That doesn't mean you're as happy as when you're on that 16-game unbeaten run and that's normal. But it does make me focus absolutely. You learn more in defeat and tough moments.

"It's head down time. Head down and work. And not consider the table too much. We know we're there or thereabouts."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has urged authorities to let common sense and safety concerns dictate any future decision-making regarding the coronavirus pandemic's impact on English football.

Much of the United Kingdom is once again under tough restrictions due to a second wave of COVID-19.

This has started to affect elite football, with Manchester City's scheduled match against Everton earlier this week postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the former's playing staff, while the Premier League confirmed on Tuesday that a record 18 positives had been tallied in the most recent round of testing.

Some have called for the Premier League to halt once again as it did in March 2020, with West Brom boss Sam Allardyce particularly vocal in this regard.

Chelsea's next match sees them face City on Sunday, and while Lampard is not aware of the game being at risk of postponement, he confirmed two members of the Blues' staff have contracted the virus this week.

"I've not been given the chances of it being postponed, I'm just aware of the situation and at the moment the game is on," Lampard told reporters on Friday.

"We know Man City had some positives within their training ground, we have had a couple ourselves but not on the playing staff, and that's the current situation.

"Generally, we feel probably as safe as the public because of the new surge in numbers we are seeing, so I think we feel the same. But we are in a more protected environment, certainly in the workplace.

"I know some people are working from home or staying at home, but we are now being tested twice a week, I think that's really important. I don't really understand why we went down to once a week.

"It seems to me the situation is we go game by game in terms of the games being called off due to positives around that game itself. I understand that, let's just see how it goes as it is uncertain times."

But when asked whether football continuing regardless was important for "national morale", Lampard was dubious.

"I'm not sure on that one - I understand it, I certainly love football and if you do, you love watching the amount of games on at home, but I think safety has to be paramount," he said.

"The fact I said we have a couple of staff positive means there are lots of people working within our bubble who have babies, parents, friends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and they come here and to work, then go home and are obviously in the environment where we're in another surge of COVID-19 that seems to be more contagious.

"So, safety and security is paramount, as opposed to keeping the nation's spirits up. It might not be a nice thing to say but these are tough times for everybody. We enjoy watching our football, but safety and health have to come first."

Lampard was then pushed on whether he would back another pause, adding: "I would have no choice, would I? We had that in March then it [the infection rate] came down.

"I have to say, the Premier League and clubs themselves have done everything they can to make the environment as safe as possible, but as we are finding, that's not always easy to do when people go home, leave the building.

"Numbers are going up, particularly in London where we are, so I think it would have to be up to the authorities - the government, the Premier League - to be clear that it would be beneficial to stop with a circuit-breaker or whatever, but that's something I don't know. If you're told to stop, you stop."

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