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Frank Lampard was full of praise for N'Golo Kante after the Chelsea midfielder brought his "ridiculous output" from training into Saturday's win at Newcastle.
Kante, who was Chelsea's captain for the game, turned in a typically energetic display in midfield as the Blues eased to a 2-0 victory.
An own goal from Federico Fernandez gave the Blues the lead in the first half, with Tammy Abraham adding a second in the second period.
And Lampard says he was delighted to see Kante impress after his injury issues.
"Last year, however you want to phrase it, he missed 50 per cent of games with injuries, he had a tough time for different reasons," he told reporters.
"We’ve been working very hard to get him fit and fresh with how we manage his training and game time.
Kante impressed in midfield
(Image: Alex Pantling/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
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"But his levels of performance are really high.
"I keep saying every time I get asked about N’Golo I have so much faith in him. The top midfielder that he is in world football, and not just breaking up and winning balls back, we know that’s a huge quality, but his passing and supporting in midfield, playing in that deeper role now, it’s been a very comfortable transition for him as he’s playing.
"I’m really, really happy with how he’s playing.
"I don’t want to tempt fate [with his fitness] because at the minute it’s going well. It’s a constant one for us that we are managing.
"When I came in at the start of last season he had been injured from the Europa League final and that rolled on through the year and we just chased it down from there.
Lampard was pleased with the Frenchman's display
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
"So that was unfortunate, it felt unfortunate for us to lose him for 50 per cent of games because of the level of player he is.
"We have had a better period with him to get him in a place we’re really happy with. We’re very aware and keep check on his training and his numbers and how much distance he travels.
"Because every time you train and you allow him off the leash in training, he makes ridiculous output because that’s the way he plays.
"We are very careful with that and at the minute we are in a good place and hopefully that continues."
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