• Recent defeats ‘are because we dropped off’
  • Lampard to make changes for Aston Villa game

Frank Lampard has questioned the mentality of his Chelsea players, wondering whether they have been adversely affected by being talked up as Premier League title contenders a few weeks ago, and he has demanded a return to the required levels of application against Aston Villa on Monday night.

The Chelsea manager was fuming after the 3-1 Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal, when his team were 2-0 down at half‑time. Lampard said his players lacked character during what he described as the worst 45 minutes of the season and he did not blame fatigue, rather the approach in which the basics were missing – primarily running and effort.

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