Frank Lampard was pleased by Chelsea’s swift response to the debacle at Newcastle in Wednesday night’s Champions League victory over Schalke, which edged Jose Mourinho’s men towards a place in the knockout stages.
Lampard dropped to the bench as one of six changes for the Group E clash following a 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park, as Chelsea claimed a second successive 3-0 win over Schalke to consolidate their position at the top of the standings ahead of matches at Basle and home to Steaua Bucharest.
Mourinho was critical of the attitude of his players after the Newcastle loss, but praised them after a third straight Champions League win.
Asked about morale this week, the 35-year-old Lampard told Chelsea TV: “It’s been okay. When you’re longer in the tooth you realise you have to take defeats and blips and bad performances on the chin and come back quickly from them.
“There’s no point in sulking too long. It’s a case of getting over Newcastle, we’re still in a healthy position in the league.
“We need to learn from those kind of games and react. And we did that.”
First Chelsea had to overcome a lacklustre opening when Schalke had chances to go in front.
Andre Schurrle’s free-kick, saved by Timo Hildebrand, galvanised the Blues, who took the lead when the Schalke goalkeeper’s clearance was charged down by Samuel Eto’o.
“Sometimes you need a bit of luck,” Lampard added.
“It wasn’t great, first 20 minutes, but that can happen, off the back of a defeat as well.
“Maybe some days you deserve a bit of luck and when you get your noses in front the game changes.”
Eto’o has made a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge following his move from Anzhi Makhachkala.
He scored his first goal against Cardiff last month in a match remembered for his controversial, and illegal, steal of the ball as their goalkeeper David Marshall bounced it.
On that occasion he set up Eden Hazard – back for Saturday’s match with West Brom after being omitted for disciplinary reasons from the Schalke match – but the Cameroon striker was the sole beneficiary of his charge down of Hildebrand.
Eto’o said: “I never plan it, because you don’t know how a game is going to go but it’s the second time I’ve picked the pocket of a keeper and that counts. It’s good.
“Credit has to go to the manager, because he didn’t stop shouting at me from the line, to put the keeper under pressure.
“I didn’t think to go but, because he shouted so much, I started to get closer and in a moment I could get to the ball so I accelerated.”
Eto’o has three Champions League winners medals – one more than Mourinho, with whom he won the tournament while at Inter Milan in 2010 – and believes he is now approaching his best as a Blue.
“I’m the same player I’ve always been,” the 32-year-old added.
“There are things that happen in football, you always have to think in a positive manner and, yesterday, I was happy and I’m happy today – I’m always the same. Always happy.”
In the continued absence of Fernando Torres – likely to be back after the international break following an adductor injury – Eto’o could get another opportunity against West Brom on Saturday.
Demba Ba, scorer of Chelsea’s third and his first of the season, could also get a chance.
Lampard added: “I’m pleased for him (Ba). He hasn’t played loads.
“I know it’s not easy when you’re in that situation. Being professional, training everyday, which he does. He got the rewards.”