Soccer

Lampard plays down treble talk

2009-04-19 15:07
Frank Lampard (AFP)
London - England international midfielder Frank Lampard insists Chelsea would be happy with just one trophy this season even though they remain on course for a treble.

Guus Hiddink's side reached the FA Cup final with a 2-1 win over Arsenal in Saturday's semi-final.

That Wembley triumph came just four days after the Blues edged into the Champions League semi-finals, where they face Barcelona, with a dramatic 7-5 aggregate victory against Liverpool.

Chelsea, who trail leaders Manchester United by four points, also remain in the hunt for the Premier League title.

But Lampard is uncomfortable with all the talk of winning three trophies because it puts unwanted pressure on the squad.

"I hate talk of the treble," he said. "When you talk about it the pressure gets even more so we must keep our heads down and take each game and competition as it comes and if we do that then we will have a chance.

"It will be very difficult to win three but if we can win something then that would be great.

"We are now in a position where we can potentially be very successful this year.

"We have got spirit at the moment, are playing well and confident. Once we got back level there was a feeling throughout the team that we would go on and win it.

"We became stronger the longer the game went on. That is one of our strengths, it always has been.

"We are quite powerful but we can also play and create chances. We do the hard work first and then try and get the ball down and play. That is when we are at our best."

Lampard now believes Chelsea must maintain their self-belief to stand any chance of catching United at the top of league.

United have a game in hand on the Blues and Lampard knows all they can do is continue winning and hope Sir Alex Ferguson's side slip up.

They may lose out to United in the league but there is a real prospect of a cup double-header against United in the FA Cup and Champions League.

"We must keep doing the good things we are doing at the moment - playing together and playing with spirit," Lampard said.

"We must carry that on until the end of the season. We cannot afford to slip in the league.

"We want to keep going and keep putting the pressure on. We want to win all our games because you never know what might happen. It is important we do that and try and keep our form."

Ashley Cole, Lampard's Chelsea team-mate, believes Hiddink deserves credit for restoring confidence to the team after they lost their way during Luiz Felipe Scolari's brief reign.

When Hiddink replaced Scolari in February it was hard to imagine Chelsea enjoying a successful season, but the Dutch coach quickly made his mark.

"Game by game we have been growing in confidence and belief, knowing that we are good enough to win trophies," Cole said.

"The Premier League might be out of our hands but we are not going to give up. We are going to try and win every game and if we do that I think we will have a great season.

"We are so confident at the minute and even if we do go a goal down, we believe we can beat anyone. We showed that again against Arsenal.

"I don't know whether the treble is on but we could be in two finals next month and we won't give up on the league, we will keep on going."

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