By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 13/09/19 10:28pm
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has given his full backing to captain Cesar Azpilicueta to overcome his mistake-ridden run of form.
The Spain defender has made a number of errors during the Blues’ first four Premier League games of the season, which has been met with criticism from some supporters and commentators.
But Lampard insists his skipper has the calibre to come through this tough period and re-emerge as one of the club’s most instrumental players ahead of their clash with Wolves on Saturday.
“I’ve played with Azpilicueta and know him very well and know what he is – he is the first player to stand up,” Lampard said.
“The reason he’s captain is because of that professionalism and attitude. He’s been incredible for the club and won a lot, and been central to winning a lot. He’s not just been a bystander. He’s been right in the middle of it all.
“He will be aware more than anyone of his form, and what it means, and be the first one to want to address it. He’s a big player for us, a great personality and I’m certainly firmly behind him, and I see no problem.
“I remember playing with better players than I was, who had little moments in their careers for whatever reason. The top ones come through it and Azpilicueta is a top player.
“I don’t think he’s having any major issues. It’s the modern day where all eyes are on. Players have to put up with that and I’ve got no problem.”
Lampard, who is expected to try to integrate youngster Reece James into the team at right-back following his injury, also suggested Azpilicueta could return to a role at centre-back at some point this season, where he previously thrived under Antonio Conte.
“Possibly [he could play centre-back],” Lampard said. “I know at times last year he played centre-back and did so in a three in the Conte area. I think we have options. Reece [James] is also adaptable.”