Frank Lampard insists he has ‘confidence’ in Chelsea defender after Newcastle win

Antonio Rudiger has been given a vote of confidence by his manager Frank Lampard after the defender made his first Premier League appearance of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.

The Germany international was close to leaving Stamford Bridge back in the summer after he had fallen down the pecking order at the west London club.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain claim that he is open to a move in the January window, with Barcelona said to be an interested party.

But with Lampard deciding to rest summer signing Thiago Silva after he travelled to South America on international duty for Brazil, Rudiger was handed just his third appearance in all competitions this campaign.

The 27-year-old put in an assured performance alongside Kurt Zouma as the Blues cruised to a straightforward victory over the Magpies at St James’ Park.

And speaking after the game, Lampard admitted he was satisfied with the centre-back’s display and praised his how he has responded to the increased competition in his position.

‘I was pleased with his performance it’s not easy,’ the English boss said. ‘I talked before the game about having five centre backs a lot of managers would say I’d love five centre backs but it brings difficulties because you can only pick two if you are playing a back four.

‘Three are going to be unhappy and it’s not easy to ask them to come straight into the team if they aren’t playing regularly and ask them to perform and that means they have to have good attitude through the week, good attitude in how they prepare and I’ve got confidence in Toni.

‘He came in and I thought his performance alongside Kurt they were very strong. Anything that came in the box they dealt with it very well. They had a lot of the ball and moved it well.

‘I’m very happy and it’s a hugely important to have a strong squad this year with the schedule as it is so for Toni to come in and play and keep a clean sheet is brilliant for him and brilliant for me.’

 

 

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