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Under-fire Chelsea manager Lampard wary of improving Fulham

·2-min read
FA Cup - Third Round - Chelsea v Morecambe

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea may have a formidable record against Fulham but manager Frank Lampard says he will not take their west London rivals lightly as they attempt to turn around their own season.

Fulham have beaten Chelsea only once in all competitions since 1980, a 1-0 league win in 2006.

Scott Parker's side are in the relegation zone after losing eight of their first 11 fixtures but are unbeaten in their last five, which includes 1-1 draws against champions Liverpool last month and Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

"Fulham are playing well. They played very well against Tottenham last night in a game they perhaps felt they could have won. And that's been their recent form, so I think the history goes away," Lampard told reporters on Thursday.

"They have threats across their team. They've drawn with Liverpool and Tottenham. It will be a tough game.

"We must credit Scott and his team because they have, with a change of system... worked on a clear style of play. They're not giving many chances to teams in games, they are very well organised and have threats throughout their team."

Chelsea have struggled for results in recent weeks, falling from third to ninth in the table after one win in six games, putting pressure on Lampard after the club spent over 200 million pounds ($273.12 million) to strengthen the squad.

"I was very aware when I came into this job, if you manage a top Premier League club... you have to understand that pressure will come very quickly at times. And the pressure is constantly there anyway," he added.

"Earlier in the season, we had a lot of great things coming through and then a tough patch.

"These two weeks have given us a chance to focus on the basics of our game, what we are and how we want to play and I just want to see those things come through."

($1 = 0.7323 pounds)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)