The Premier League clubs have experienced the first ever winter break over the last couple of weeks, meaning The Blues did not have a fixture last weekend and had the week off.
Frank Lampard and his players had a free week and many chose to go away and relax, before regrouping and starting training again at the start of this week.
Many of Lampard’s players would have welcomed the break, having taken on a lot of minutes this season off the back of them not being able to sign any new players in the summer.
Lampard believes that the break has come at a good time and he has challenged his young troops with a rallying cry ahead of tomorrow’s big match.
Speaking to The Guardian, Lampard said:
“It’s a critical time for us and I need the young players to do their thing.
“I think when you come through this academy, you should understand what playing for the first team at Chelsea looks like. You must always drive yourself and drive yourself and, if there’s times when you’re not necessarily at your best, you need to drive yourself again.
“The young players have made a great impact this season and we’ve had reliance on them to a degree, because we knew we couldn’t bring anyone in at the start.
“Through the season I think there are going to be some difficult times and, if you look at Tammy Abraham at the moment, and maybe Mason [Mount], I think the break was particularly good for them as they can come back and hopefully show more levels in their game.
“There’s been tough little times recently and I think it’s up to them now. They’ve shown they’re part of this first-team squad and they’ve all had their good inputs but I want more and I think I want more now.
“I always like to reflect on myself and how I work. When you’re a new manager at a club, and I only came in last summer, you always think: ‘What small tweaks can I make to how we prepare and how we train daily?’
“There was a lot of self-reflection [during the break]. And just having some time away, having a bit of clarity, I think we should be happy that we’re in fourth position. I think that would have been a plus at the start of the season. At the same time how can we get that extra 10 or 15% which I think we’ve been lacking? We would have had a lot more points on the board [if we did] and made fourth look a lot more comfortable.”