Frank Lampard said he was encouraged by the spirit, desire and defending of his Chelsea team, despite their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
The Blues were reduced to 10 men when Andreas Christensen was sent off just before half-time and goals from Sadio Mane after the break secured a dominant Liverpool all three points, with Jorginho missing a penalty for Chelsea.
However, Lampard was keen to take the positives from his side’s performance and ranked it better than their 3-1 opening weekend win at Brighton.
“I was happy about our defensive game,” he told Sky Sports. “I wanted them to be better on the ball. We showed moments on the counter-attack where we dangerous. But to limit them to the chances they got in the first-half, there were lots of things I was pleased about.
“My team talk at half-time was going to be: ‘let’s be more confident on the ball lads.’ Then the red card changes the whole team talk.
“They can be given or not. Once the yellow is the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely critical that it’s a red to make that difference. I’m not sure it was. I’m not going to complain too much.
Andreas Christensen was sent off for hauling down Sadio Mane
“I’m disappointed to lose three points, as you always will be and should be, but actually I’m happier today in many ways than I was at Brighton. Brighton was three points, an OK performance.
“We’re in pre-season still because we haven’t had long enough to train a lot of the individuals and as a collective.
“Today I saw spirit, a desire to defend by a lot of our players. Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, the midfield giving everything to block gaps. You play half a game with 10 men – you don’t make that mistake for the second goal, you score the penalty it’s 1-1. I know that’s not football and I know I can’t reflect on that but those are the realities.
“The players should take heart. It’s how we go forward from here now. Normally with new faces you get a month or so of pre-season to work on your patterns of play. That’s why the stuff on the ball at the minute is what I’m not so happy about. The way we’re defending I’m very happy with.”
“Every team that has been successful in the modern day has had time, has had a process,” he said. “Our process starts here. Not from last year. Last year was a squad that we couldn’t do much business going into it, so we worked and we worked and we worked and we came fourth.
“Now it’s a new start, our objectives are higher, our expectations are higher, fine. But it will take some time.”