Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has issued his response to Jose Mourinho's claims he should've fielded a more experienced team in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Mourinho, Lampard's former boss, was speaking in a punditry role on Sky Sports during the game and in the aftermath of the comprehensive loss he questioned Lampard's decision to field such an inexperienced side.
To be fair, as quoted by Football London, he did offer an initial disclaimer, admitting: "One thing I was always very critical with is when I am the manager and you are the pundits sometimes you say things that I think to myself ‘you don’t know what is going on, what are you saying.'"
However, he then went on to say: "If Willian is injured, I understand that feeling he’s not here, but if he’s not injured and is just late on his preparation, I don’t understand why he’s not here because to play 20 minutes, 30 minutes, you don’t need to be fit, you can come from three weeks of injury and if you come with the right mentality you are ready.
"If Kante can play 30 to 35 minutes, he can start the game.
"Maybe Frank listens to us and says ‘Kante it’s impossible to play’, but my feeling is today they had the possibility to play with a team with more know-how. [Marcos] Alonso, [N’Golo] Kante, [Olivier] Giroud on the bench and to come to Old Trafford, even if this is not a huge Manchester United that used to scare people, it’s still Manchester United.
"A little bit of experience would fit well with the team. Look at the performance of Mason Mount, of Tammy Abraham, Christensen even, for matches of this dimension you need a little bit more."
And, when posed with these critiques, the 41-year-old, picking up on one thing in particular, replied: "He didn’t like the performance of Mason Mount? Is that what he said?"
In response to the wider issue of fitness and personnel, Lampard explained: "I can’t drag players out of the medical room. These are the players that played. We were the better team in 45 to 60 minutes. They were ruthless. I’m not concerned about what anyone else says. I believe in the squad that we have. If we were more clinical then it could have been a different game."