After an own goal from Federico Fernandez gave Chelsea an early lead at St James’ Park, and Tammy Abraham’s effort in the second half, which was set up by a brilliant run from Timo Werner, completed the 2-0 victory, Lampard has singled out the effort of a particular player.
Frank Lampard has praised the impact of N’Golo Kante after Chelsea’s win over Newcastle United and has described the midfielder’s effort levels in training as ‘ridiculous’.
Kante, meanwhile, registered another solid display at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield. And Lampard insists the World Cup winner will play a key role in Chelsea’s campaign if he continues to stay fit.
‘I understand what you mean by quietly influential but he’s much more than that for us,’ Lampard said of Kante after the match.
‘Last year, however you want to phrase it, he missed 50 per cent of games with injuries, he had a tough time for different reasons.
‘We’ve been working very hard to get him fit and fresh with how we manage his training and game time.
‘But his levels of performance are really high. ‘I keep saying every time I get asked about N’Golo I have so much faith in him. The top midfielder that he is in world football, and not just breaking up and winning balls back, we know that’s a huge quality, but his passing and supporting in midfield, playing in that deeper role now, it’s been a very comfortable transition for him as he’s playing.
‘I’m really, really happy with how he’s playing.
‘I don’t want to tempt fate [with his fitness] because at the minute it’s going well. It’s a constant one for us that we are managing.
‘When I came in at the start of last season he had been injured from the Europa League final and that rolled on through the year and we just chased it down from there.
‘So that was unfortunate, it felt unfortunate for us to lose him for 50 per cent of games because of the level of player he is.
‘We have had a better period with him to get him in a place we’re really happy with. We’re very aware and keep check on his training and his numbers and how much distance he travels.
‘Because every time you train and you allow him off the leash in training, he makes ridiculous output because that’s the way he plays.
‘We are very careful with that and at the minute we are in a good place and hopefully that continues.’