'Transfer ban? I believe in Chelsea squad' - Lampard reveals confidence in Blues players

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard insists he has complete faith in his squad ahead of his first game in charge of the Blues, despite the transfer ban cloud that has hung over the club this summer.

The west Londoners were left bewildered earlier this year when they were handed the punishment for allegedly breaking FIFA rules over the signing of foreign under-18 players.

Though the club are hoping to have their two-window ban overturned before transfer business resumes in January, the ruling leaves Lampard to work with the players already at his disposal when he arrived to replace Maurizio Sarri.

His job was further complicated when creative lynchpin Eden Hazard was sold to Real Madrid, but the former England midfielder claims he trusts the squad of players he inherited.

“We've got a group here I believe a lot in,” he told Sky Sports ahead of their opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“I know we have a transfer ban and a lot of the talk around us has been questioning what we can do, but I certainly believe in the squad. 

“We know the bar has been raised by Manchester City and Liverpool last season and there is the challenge - can we close the gap?

"I will do my best. I'm not going to jump into the future because, as we know, this is a tough business and there are expectations everywhere. 

“But I will certainly give all I can, that's how I did it in my playing career, I tried to work as hard as I could get and get every ounce out of myself and I will do the same as a manager.”

Frank Lampard Tammy Abraham Chelsea 2019-20

The 41-year-old, who led Derby County to the Championship play-off final last season before moving to Stamford Bridge in July, spent 13 years in the blue of Chelsea, winning nine domestic trophies and two European titles during that time.

Yet the ex-West Ham man says his success as a player, and those he shared it with, will not influence his style of management. 

“I don't believe in harking back to previous eras because everything changes,” he said.

“For me to reel off players like Didier Drogba, John Terry and Petr Cech etc is pretty pointless. I am not setting my expectations on anything that has gone.

“When the players walk through the corridor, they should look at the pictures of them with trophies and be inspired without a doubt, but I don't think you can rely on that or set a tone on that.

“We are a different bunch of players, I am a manager now and I want it to be my way.”