Lampard admits rift with Villas-Boas

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LONDON Frank Lampard has spoken publicly for the first time about his dispute with Chelsea manager Andr Villas-Boas over his lack of starts at the club this season. And Lampard admitted their relationship perceived by many to be fractured is not ideal and there have been certain issues between the manager and some players this season.

His comments came on a day when Lampard, restored to the side and made captain, produced a man-of-the-match performance and scored his 150th Premier League goal for Chelsea in a 3-0 win over Bolton.

Speaking about his relationship with Villas-Boas, Lampard said: I think, from the outside, you can probably see that its not been ideal, but the important thing is not to focus on individual relationships too much. It can only be negative and people do like to play on negatives.

There have been certain issues. Certain players, we dont like not to play. But its never a case of players throwing their toys out of the pram to the detriment of the club.

Ive been here a long time. Im 33. Im realistic. It doesnt mean I want to play every game, but if I sit on the bench, I want to see Chelsea win.

Im sure were all frustrated at the minute, everyone whos involved, especially people who have got Chelsea in their hearts, who have been here a long time and want to see us performing as we should do.

The only way we can push on from now and secure Champions League football next year, potentially move through in the FA Cup and the Champions League this year, is to be positive. Its in the clubs interest.

Its not about any one individual here and negative things can take the shine off it. Saturdays victory buys Villas-Boas more time at the club after Rafael Benitez was sounded out last week about taking over his job until the end of the season.

Chelseas manager executed a selection U-turn by restoring Lampard to the first team and making him captain as well as bringing back Michael Essien and Ashley Cole. All three were controversially left out of the 3-1 Champions League defeat in Napoli last week, omissions which caused deep concern among the players.

Villas-Boas insisted he had not felt he had needed to win yesterday to save his job. Daily Mail