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Frank Lampard tells Mason Mount to put Declan Rice friendship to one side for West Ham vs Chelsea

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Frank Lampard has urged Mason Mount not to get too caught up in his friendship with Declan Rice when the best mates come up against each other on Wednesday night.

England team-mates Mount and Rice are childhood friends, and Lampard believes they will be spurred on to get the better of each other when Chelsea play West Ham.

But Lampard has told Mount not to focus too much on their friendship for 90 minutes, and instead concentrate on winning his individual midfield battle with Rice.

Lampard said: “I think it spurs you on more if you have a personal relationship. I think the result of that is not concrete; you can have your best of games but you can also become overly focused on that relationship and have not such a good game.

“They are two very good young players. The only thing I ask from Mason is that he messages him the night before, smiles at him in the tunnel but when he goes up against him he has to try and beat him in every individual battle.

(Getty Images)

"Sensing Declan Rice’s character, I think they will be like-minded on that one, so we will see.”

Mount was pictured having a kickabout with Rice and other friends at a football centre near Barnet when the Chelsea squad were supposed to be in self-isolation in March.

Asked if he spoke to Mount about the incident, Lampard said: “I had the shortest word possible. I saw in a couple of places get compared to players who went out and partied all night and did different things.

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"Mason, very innocently and naively and wrong at the time, and he quickly held his hands up, was kicking a ball about.

“And that is so typical of Mason and how he lives his life. He was pretty apologetic straight away that he got it wrong and we moved on. No problem at all.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Mount was one of three players substituted at half-time after a poor 45-minute display against Leicester on Sunday, and Lampard expects a reaction from the midfielder.

“Mason would not have been happy coming off at half time, I know that because Mason is a bit like myself, I know when he is not playing he is not happy, and if he comes off he is not happy,” added the Chelsea manager.

“But he should be not happy that evening and then straight back to it afterwards because he knows how much I in trust him. He works brilliantly every day.

"There will be no problem with Mason, it was a one-off game and it does not affect my thinking for West Ham.”

For more news relating to Chelsea, visit our sister site Chelsea Live.
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