Lampard looked exhausted before he went away but is refreshed and insistent that while fourth may be the goal for this season, catching Liverpool needs to be the club's aim.
"There was a lot of self-reflection," said Lampard. "Having some time away brings some clarity. I think we should be happy we are in fourth position. I think that would have been a plus at the start of the season but at the same time how can we get that extra 10 or 15 per cent, which I think we've been lacking, which would have given us a lot more points on the board and make fourth look a lot more comfortable?
"So I've come back excited to hit this long run to the [end of the] season. Every point hurts that you feel like you dropped. At the same time we have to realise where we are, we're in a bit of transition and this Premier League now has never been as competitive.
"There's Sheffield United and Wolves as well as United and Spurs. Everybody is getting this TV money, a lot of teams have been spending it, teams are improving and are tactically very aware and you get nothing your own way."