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Lampard: Chelsea managers will always be under pressure for CL success

Chelsea's demand for success in the UEFA Champions League will always be the yardstick by which Blues managers are judged, claims long serving midfielder Frank Lampard. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has gone through a string of managers in pursuit of European glory.

Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti have all come and gone at Stamford Bridge without realising the Russian's ambition.

"I don't know if it is as cut-and-dried as managers losing their jobs for not winning the Champions League, but I understand where you're coming from - obviously it is something that the owner wants," said Lampard.

"When you've had a lot of domestic success, it's not just the owner but the whole club and the fans, you want that extra step - to win in Europe.

"As a club with what we've achieved in the last six or seven years, it's an obvious thing to say, the one thing that's missing from our cabinet is the Champions League.

"I wouldn't say that's the only reason managers have been sacked, but the pressure is cranked up regardless."

The England international feels his team can compete with holders Barcelona, who outclassed Manchester United in the 2011 final.

He added: "Barcelona is the model, they are the outstanding team of recent years, but there's no way that Chelsea are that far behind. We have to believe we can compete with the best.

"We've shown in the past that with our style of play, when we're at our best, we can certainly compete.

"We've been so close in the Champions League and there's been frustration, obviously, as pretty much the same group has stayed for a lot of time. It seems to get tougher every year, because of the quality, particularly in Spain, particularly Barcelona, who have raised the bar.

"I'd like to think we've raised the bar as well. Last season was a disappointment in terms of not winning anything, but I think there's a real freshness about the club."

 It's the home stretch! 24/7 click for the best coverage of Chelsea's final transfer market moves

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Dave Williams

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