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Lampard confident Chelsea will rise to Real Madrid challenge

Newly-installed Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard dismissed suggestions he should be fearing a trip to face Real Madrid on Wednesday after seeing his side beaten 1-0 at Wolves in his first game back at the club.

Lampard was put in charge of the Blues until the end of the season on Thursday, just over two years since his first spell as manager at Stamford Bridge ended.

Defeat at Molineux left Chelsea still languishing in 11th in the Premier League table despite spending a world record amount of over £500 million on new players in one season.

But they have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they face holders Real in the first leg in Spain.

Madrid were in sparkling form as they thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in midweek to reach the Copa del Rey final and made light work of Premier League opposition in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 6-2 aggregate win over Liverpool.

“If you are worried, don’t come. The players shouldn’t be,” said Lampard.

“I’m very happy to be back. We have a huge game waiting for us on Wednesday where everything changes.”

Despite the appointment of a third manager this season, there was little change on the pitch from Chelsea as they were again lacking in goal threat and undone by one moment of magic in Matheus Nunes’ superb winner.

Lampard pointed to a lack of aggression from his players, but believes he does have the talent at his disposal to turn things around.

“It’s a big task managing Chelsea. We know we’re not in a position we want to be in,” he added.

“I didn’t expect to solve everything in one day. You have to have more aggression in your game, more speed and more competitive duels which go your way.

“The players need to be aware of that because without that you can’t win games. It was interesting to see anyway, I’m here to help with that. It’s not stinging criticism, I know there’s a lot of talent there.”

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