Frank Lampard has admitted that trying to maximise Christian Pulisic’s impact at Chelsea remains a “work in progress”.
Pulisic will be fit for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Everton, having shaken off his latest hamstring twinge earlier this week.
The United States forward has avoided any injury in a clear relief to both player and manager at Stamford Bridge.
But Pulisic has suffered a clutch of hamstring issues, and Blues boss Lampard admitted he, the player and the club are still working hard to find the right balance of work and rest to help the 22-year-old thrive in west London.
“Christian Pulisic had a tiny bit of awareness off the back of the Leeds game on one of his hamstrings, but he’s training normally,” said Lampard.
“Christian is a work in progress. I don’t want to call this an injury he had in midweek. If the game had been a different type of game then maybe I would have used him.
“We know his abilities, that’s very clear, he showed them when he came on against Leeds last week.
“I just have to find the right way to get the best out of him regularly and consistently.”
Chelsea sit third in the Premier League ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, having composed a nine-match unbeaten run since their sole defeat of the campaign, the 2-0 home loss to Liverpool.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho branded his Spurs team a mere “pony” in the title race after their goalless draw at Chelsea, with many of the early contenders trying to downplay their silverware chances.
Lampard continues to insist it is too early to be talking about title chances, warning his squad that consistency remains the only route to glory.
Asked to describe Chelsea’s title race stakes given Mourinho’s assessment of Spurs, Lampard said: “I don’t know, I don’t want to find a play on words with it or anything.
“I just want to say that we are happy where we are but I know that there’s also a long way to go.
“I don’t think it really matters too much the rhetoric. Jose gets asked about it like I do, once, twice, three times a week, and you have to give an answer.
“I think with Tottenham they have got fantastic players and a really strong squad, and the words are not that important at this point.
“It’s more about for us at Chelsea how we keep working and understand that consistency over the course of a season is what wins titles, it’s not matches until the middle of December.”
But asked to assess Chelsea’s progress so far this term, Lampard said: “It was really hard to have clear expectations because of the variables at the start of the season; Covid, new signings, no pre-season, some injuries.
“And I didn’t know how it would pan out, normally you have a long pre-season to factor these things in, and train and try to work through them. And we didn’t.
“So I think it was slightly false at the start of the season for us, some of the performances and results.
“And at the moment we are getting very good performances and results.
“And the reality is we’re probably somewhere in the middle of that.
“And we need to make sure that consistency is something we find going forwards.
“So I’m not sure where we are compared to expectation, but I always want more.”
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