Villas-Boas maintains his love of Lampard

VALENCIA vs CHELSEA

CHELSEA manager Andre Villas-Boas has launched a passionate defence of Frank Lampard and hit out at suggestions the England stalwart is set for a reduced role at the club this season.

The 33-year-old Lampard, who once set a record for consecutive Premier League appearances, has started three of Chelsea’s last four matches on the bench having been an automatic pick under previous Stamford Bridge managers.

Villas-Boas stopped short of confirming Lampard would return to the starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League clash with Valencia and declared himself fed up with answering questions about the midfielder’s future.

Asked what he particularly took issue with, the Portuguese said: “The fact that these players are ‘changing’ and that they are ‘out’ and then they are ‘in’ and, ‘What is the problem with this player?’ and, ‘How is he going to react to a different situation?’

“I don’t see things like that. We all see things in the dressing room as team objectives and collective objectives, nothing else.”

He added: “He’s an established player for Chelsea, for England, has nothing to prove to the football world. He’s a spectacular team player, a spectacular professional, and he will continue to succeed at this club I think for the rest of my years here.”