Frank Lampard has lifted the lid on his individual plan for Thiago Silva this season and says he will hold ‘honest’ discussions with the defender over his playing time at Chelsea.
The Brazilian joined Chelsea on a free transfer after his contract expired at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and has made six appearances for the west London club in all competitions.
Eyebrows were raised at the signing, given Silva recently celebrated his 36th birthday, and the centre-back had a Premier League debut to forget as Chelsea drew 3-3 away to West Brom at the end of September.
Silva has since settled into life at Chelsea and provided an assured presence at the back alongside Kurt Zouma as Lampard’s side have gone on a nine-match unbeaten streak.
However, Lampard is keen not to overwork Silva and could be tempted to rest the veteran centre-half against Rennes on Wednesday night after leaving him at home for Chelsea’s trip to Krasnodar last week.
Asked about his individual plan for managing Silva’s fitness, Lampard replied:
‘It’s very important. ‘It’s a question I had about Christian Pulisic and it’s a question I got asked about N’Golo Kante towards the backend of last season a lot.
‘I think within the squad you try to have standards and levels that you train at, physical work, we gauge every day’s fitness work and the input of the players.
‘We try to balance it out to make sure we have every player at their optimum and every player is different in their own way.
‘So around a general rule of how we train, whether I talk a lot to the sports science team and they give me clues of what they see, some of it is in my eye and with the staff and then a lot of it is my relationship with the players and speaking to them.
‘And I think particularly when you have an experienced player who is such a great professional as Thiago is, that honest conversation is very easy.’
Lampard added: ‘If it means managing training, managing game-time as we did last week with Russia, I’ll be very up front and honest with him in terms of what I think and what he thinks.
‘We will do our best. I remember it at the back-end of my career, I had to change my training programme. ‘So I’ll be very open to looking at small tweaks for Thiago
Lampard praised the performances of both Edouard Mendy and Silva away at Burnley but stressed that it was important to maintain a sense of ‘perspective’ ahead of a busy run of fixtures for Chelsea, both domestically and in Europe.
‘With Edou and Thiago, we give as much information as we can. They are two players who are thirsty for information,’ the Chelsea manager added.
‘With Thiago, I spoke a lot with him about the style of game that it would be and he was very interested to hear it which shows me a top professional who wants to prepare every detail which they both did in their individual ways.
‘It was a good game for both of them and the team. In terms of the result, it is always a difficult place to go and get a result, particularly a convincing result because their direct nature of their game at times can cause threats in your box. We negated those in a big way.
‘After the game, I said it was important to have perspective. I had perspective when we had lesser performances and dropped performances this year.
‘The same when we win and win comfortably, there is a lot of work to be done.
There was a nice side shown to our game both with the ball and without it but we are still trying to improve.
‘The bigger thing with me is to feel the confidence of the team in the way they played, the way they were secure in not too much pressure in their own box and the comfort of the passing options we had throughout the game.
‘That was a big thing for me and we need to carry it forward.’