Jody Morris has said Chelsea’s young players need to show they can be nasty on the pitch if they are to reach the next level but would not lay the blame for the team’s recent up and down form at the feet of those still learning their trade in the Premier League.
The assistant manager gave this afternoon’s press conference to preview Sunday’s FA Cup third round game against Nottingham Forest with Frank Lampard missing through illness.
He said: “There needs to be ruthlessness to your game and you need to be clinical. There are moments in games where maybe we would like some of them to be a bit more nasty but we’ve certainly proved we can be like that.
“We’ve gone into games and out-fought teams and worked harder. The relentlessness of our work rate has been good most of the time, but you do need that little bit of quality.
“You need to perform when your stock has gone up and people start valuing you as a player more and respecting you more. It’s the same as a team.
“When a team sets up and start working you out more, you need to rely on a few players to perform, particularly further up the pitch and create more chances by varying up their game.
“Maybe we haven’t done that as well, but it’s a collective effort. We can all get better at creating chances, whether it is from winning the ball back high up the pitch or from going a little bit back to front quicker.”
Lampard has recently spoken of his players needing to show more bravery in home games, suggesting that they have been too safe against opponents happy to sit back and defend.
Morris does not feel that is a problem specific to the younger players, though, insisting that it is a collective issue that they are working to solve.
“I don’t think it’s just the young players,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it’s the shackles either. They get enough freedom in the way we want to play and express ourselves. Frank certainly, certainly wants the players to play with a bit of freedom, especially further up…