Defiant Lampard tunes out noise from speculation on Chelsea future

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - January 3, 2021 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard Pool via REUTERS/Andy Rain

(Reuters) - Under-fire Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said on Friday he would ignore media speculation over other managers being linked with his job.

After a promising start to the Premier League season, Chelsea have slipped from third to eighth in the standings following two wins and five defeats in their last eight games to sit 11 points behind league leaders Manchester United.

Lampard has been under the microscope after the club spent more than 200 million pounds ($272.90 million) to rebuild the squad in the close-season but the former Chelsea midfielder and their record scorer said the speculation about his future was only on social media.

"I don't listen to it (speculation), it is only everywhere if you want to scroll through social media," Lampard told reporters ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie against second tier Luton Town.

"I don't do that, I'm not stupid. I know what pressure comes with managing a top football club but the talk doesn't matter to me."

When pressed on whether he had any conversations with the club's board, Lampard said: "I don't want to talk about private conversations. The situation changes when you are a manager, you have a lot more conversations with the hierarchy."

Lampard said the club's new recruits, such as Timo Werner who has not scored in 11 league games, need time to adapt to the Premier League's intensity.

"I think that some of the new lads have been quoted as saying that," he added. "When I talk about players needing adaptation and time, then it's very normal.

"My concern is not the pressure on me, I understand how it goes. The pressure needs to be positive on the players. I don't mind taking it. The players want to get some form back."

($1 = 0.7329 pounds)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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