Frank Lampard insists Chelsea's campaign won't stutter without their African players.

Lampard is confident that the absence of African stars Didier Drogba, Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Essien can be overcome this month.

"We'll have to cope," the Chelsea midfielder said. "It comes at a very important point of the season with four or five games over the period.

"I'll be watching the African Nations tournament, though. The standard has increased so much in the past five to ten years."