Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has said Mason Mount started at Manchester United “on absolute merit”, following criticism from Jose Mourinho on Sunday.
Mourinho criticized Lampard’s decision to start the inexperienced Mount and Tammy Abraham at Old Trafford, after the Blues lost their Premier League opener 4-0.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Super Cup match against Liverpool in Istanbul on Wednesday, Lampard said 20-year-old Mount started on merit, adding he has “no fears” to field young players.
“With regards to the squad and picking experienced or inexperienced teams, I completely pick the best team to win the game regardless of age.
“It’s very important to have a competitive team.
“If young players have shown what they can do in training, and deserve their chance, for example Mason Mount deserves his chance completely on absolute merit as opposed to age, I will have no fears to play young players because it’s important for a club like Chelsea that we do that.
“They need to deserve their chance. In terms of how we set-up as a team, I liked our aggressive off-the-ball work against United, we won the ball back a lot, and it was more that we didn’t finish off our opportunities that we got from that that lost us the game.
“We have to be adaptable, respect the strengths of the opponent, and Liverpool is a different challenge than United. It doesn’t mean we are prepared to concede ground or defend our own box, but there may be subtle changes in how we approach.
“The main thing that has to stay is the intensity of our work-rate to win the ball back,” Lampard told a press conference.