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Chelsea's Lampard vows to set record straight

Frank Lampard cut a defiant figure as he backed his Chelsea FC team-mates to atone for their matchday one defeat by overcoming FC Steaua Bucureşti in Group E on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard is eager to get Chelsea back on track
Frank Lampard is eager to get Chelsea back on track ©AFP/Getty Images

It is a situation he has faced countless times in his long career – seated on the top table under the spotlight of dozens of cameras with just as many reporters desperate to hear his take on things.

But for Frank Lampard there was one major difference inside Bucharest's Arena Națională – never before has he had to confront the way forward following a surprise defeat at the start of a UEFA Champions League campaign.

Chelsea FC's 2-1 loss against FC Basel 1893 at Stamford Bridge shattered all kinds of records. Not only had the London team never before been rendered second best on matchday one, it was also the first time manager José Mourinho had lost in the competition opener in 11 campaigns spread across four teams. So for Lampard and his team, tomorrow lends an opportunity to cast their campaign in a better light.

"We did not perform well and we lost the game, that's what happens in football," said the midfielder who hopes to make his 93rd UEFA Champions League appearance tomorrow against an FC Steaua Bucureşti team who went down 3-0 at FC Schalke 04 last time out. "We have five games left in the group so there's five games for us to put it right."

In 2004/05, Mourinho's Chelsea went ten Premier League matches unbeaten from the start; the following year they played 16 games before their first loss. The Portuguese coach's second coming has not been so successful, including two defeats and two draws in six outings. However, they have revived since that Basel reverse and Lampard believes only good times lie ahead.

"I really believe in the squad we have got, the young players we have at Chelsea," the 35-year-old said. "It is important for everyone to take on board the manager's ideas. I have a lot of respect for him. He has shown how good he is not just at Chelsea but at all his other clubs.

"We are an experienced team, an experienced squad. Even so you can not afford to underestimate any team in the Champions League. The first game showed that and it's left us needing to win games, starting tomorrow night."

At least Chelsea will be prepared for the noisy atmosphere of the Arena Națională having played – and lost – there against Steaua in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg before overhauling the 1-0 deficit back on home soil. "The atmosphere is special and Steaua are a team with a lot of history and support," warned Lampard.