Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Chelsea assistant Morris calls on his side to be ‘more nasty’ and kill off matches

5 min read

The Blues deputy is hoping to see changes from his side after an inconsistent period of results

Chelsea‘s assistant manager Jody Morris has called for a nasty side to emerge from his squad after erratic form has seen their fourth-place spot in the Premier League come under increased risk.

The Blues have recently dropped points against Brighton, Southampton and West Ham after beating the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal. Morris admits that some of his forwards need to learn a level of nastiness to kill games off after dominating matches without any reward in recent weeks.

“There needs to be ruthlessness to your game and you need to be clinical,” Morris told reporters at Cobham Training Centre. “There are moments in games where maybe we would like some of them to be a bit more nasty but we’ve certainly proved we can be like that.

“We’ve gone into games and out-fought teams and worked harder. But the relentlessness of our work rate has been good most of the time, but you do need that little bit of quality. You need to perform when your stock has gone up and people start valuing you as a player more and respecting you more.

“It’s the same as a team. When a team sets up and start working you out more, you need to rely on a few players to perform, particularly further up the pitch, and create more chances by varying up their game. Maybe we haven’t done that as well, but it’s a collective effort.

“We can all get better at creating chances, whether it is from winning the ball back high up the pitch or from going a little bit back to front quicker. We can all get better at creating chances, whether it be from winning the ball up higher or from going a little bit back to front.”

While Frank Lampard normally takes press conferences as manager, Morris stepped in for the one scheduled ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest.

He himself is a former Blues midfielder and also coached at youth level before joining Lampard at Derby County and then Chelsea as his assistant.

Morris has impacted his boyhood club from the sidelines and in training sessions this term. Lampard’s appointment as the head coach in the summer was seen as a perfect solution with a transfer ban set to impact the club in the summer.

The legendary Chelsea midfielder then appointed Morris and Joe Edwards, who had previously worked in the academy, to help get the best out of returning loanees who have since played instead of new signings.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James have stepped up this season but are now facing the club’s first bad run of form. Morris says they aren’t to blame for the club’s dip, but that too many players are currently suffering from patchy personal form to put a run of wins together.

“I don’t think it’s just the young players,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it’s the shackles either. They get enough freedom in the way we want to play and express ourselves. Frank certainly, certainly wants the players to play with a bit of freedom, especially further up the pitch.

“That’s maybe something we’ve been lacking a bit. I don’t think it’s just the young players. I feel we’ve got to remain in control sometimes. When we’re making a few mistakes, it can snowball into making more mistakes rather than simplifying the game or ride out the spells where we’ve been poor.

“They’ve maybe gone on for a bit longer than they should. When you’ve got a young group maybe there’s a tendency for the odd slip of form or the consistency levels can go up and down maybe a little bit more than the more experienced players.

“I think the reason why we haven’t maybe performed as well as we would like is because the numbers of the people that have maybe not been quite as consistent as they would like is higher than it should be.

“You can get away with it, especially if you come up against a team that is not giving you massive, massive problems. But our numbers, the ones that have maybe been a little bit inconsistent, is more than just two or three and it’s not just the young lads.”

It isn’t just Chelsea’s squad which is relatively young compared to other Premier League teams, but their coaching staff as well. Lampard is now looking to overcome his inexperience and improve the problems that have emerged in recent weeks.

Morris gave an insight into the mind of the 41-year-old who is looking to win silverware in his first season at the helm, with the FA Cup and Champions League as the last trophies the west Londoners can realistically win.

“The results would maybe point towards it being maybe his first major test as a manager, but we have had moments when we have been winning games where we have been just as frustrated,” he added.

“He is one of those who lives and breathes it, only last night you will get a text message saying look at this look at that, he is passionate about improving players, passionate about winning.

“It is not just the results that maybe you would think he is maybe getting a little bit frustrated, there have been times I remember at Derby when we were winning games but certain things were not being carried out that we were asking for, so yeah he is a deep thinker and he wants to come up with ways that players and as a group can improve.

“He is forever coming up with moments with staff where we can improve and where we can do better, maybe what we should be looking at. He was like that as a player and he is like that as a manager, like that with us as staff, he expects us to be coming to him with things where we need to improve. He is like that himself it is not just the results that have him thinking like that.”

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