• Capital One Cup

Lampard: Leeds win could kick-start season

ESPN staff
December 18, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Chelsea's Capital One Cup clash with Leeds United could be one of the most important games for the Blues this season, according to midfielder Frank Lampard.

Lampard, 34, returned from Chelsea's unsuccessful Club World Cup campaign on Monday urging his team-mates to quickly recover from the loss to Corinthians and focus on getting the club's season back on track.

After a convincing start to the Premier League season, Chelsea now find themselves 13 points behind leaders Manchester United and Lampard believes a quarter-final win over Leeds on Wednesday could be a turning point.

"We have to pick it up for Leeds and then get our form back at home," Lampard said. "We got a result against Sunderland before we went out to Japan and it's very important that we do our stuff, not just with Leeds but the Premier League games over Christmas.

"If we win at Leeds we'll be in the semi-final and with the possibility of a decent draw, but we've got to win the games. It's tough to go to Elland Road. There's a rivalry.

"We're aware of it and we have to play with passion and do the physical side of things because they're going to be right at it. We can't expect to go up there and tap it around and get a result. We have to do both sides."

Chelsea's defeat in Japan left them with only three more chances of winning a trophy this season after disappointment in the Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup and Champions League.

But Lampard, who played a full 90 minutes on Sunday, acknowledges that the changes at Stamford Bridge have made success more difficult.

"You can't go and win every tournament every year," he said. "We've never done that. No one does it. We worked very hard to get to the final.

"The fact is we've changed the personnel a bit this year. There's been a bedding-in process and we've changed the manager, so there's been quite a few circumstances this year. We just have to try to improve and play better, simple as that.

"It was good for me to get 90 minutes in against Corinthians. It's been seven or eight weeks and I felt good. I felt fit enough, I've been training hard. I'd be very happy to play at Leeds."

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