Stamford Bridge hero backs former club and player.
Former Chelsea assistant manger Ray Wilkins has warned critics not to write off the club’s title chances and backed Frank Lampard to prove he is still a top footballer.
The Blues are undergoing a major overhaul with new boss Andre Villas-Boas and despite an inauspicious start only lie three points off the two Manchester clubs in third.
Wilkins believes the club are beginning to find their feet under the Portuguese and the games against their title rivals will be key to where the Premier League trophy ends up.
Asked if it is too early to dismiss the Blues as contenders, Wilkins told Caughtoffside: “Oh absolutely. They’ve just come up on the rails, haven’t they?
“It’s vitally important Chelsea beat Manchester United when they play them again. They have to beat Manchester City once and Tottenham once.
“You have to beat the big boys once but if you lose or they take four points off you, it becomes very difficult.”
The 55-year-old also backed Lampard, who has seen his place in the Chelsea and England first-team come into question in the last month.
The 33-year-old midfielder has been dropped by club and country but has since scored four goals in two games – including a hat-trick against Bolton last Sunday.
“Frank isn’t fighting back, he’s just being what he is and that is a top professional,” Wilkins added. “He hasn’t anything to prove.
“It was a knee-jerk reaction to say he was finished. At the weekend it was his way of saying I’m still about and alive and kicking.”