Lampard reveals worst fear


LONDON, February 18- Chelsea stalwart Frank Lampard has admitted that failure to qualify for next season's Champions League campaign would be a "disaster" for the London club.

Chelsea have slipped to fifth position in the Premier League with 12 matches to go following a protracted form slump followed by a failure to win either of their last two matches.

The troubled campaign has left Chelsea in an uncomfortable scrap for a Champions League place, a competition they have played in every season since 2003-2004.

"We must finish in the top four and can never take our eye off the ball. It would be a disaster if we didn’t qualify," Lampard told the BBC.

With their chances of retaining the league virtually extinguished — Manchester United are 12 points clear of the Blues — Lampard said the club would focus on winning the FA Cup and Champions League.

"There’s huge importance because you can see the league’s going to be difficult and that means it’s more important to reach finals," he said.

Lampard, 32, also believes that Chelsea’s record 50-million-pound signing Fernando Torres will eventually settle into the goalscoring groove after flopping in his first two matches for the club.

"He’s made a huge difference," Lampard said. "No, he hasn’t scored in two games but all the spotlight is on him. There’s a huge responsibility, people are looking to him to do it instantly, but he will make a difference to us.

"He’s a top-class player, he has boosted the lads already and for sure will come good, he’s going to add to us in a big way."

Lampard also praised new defender David Luiz, the second component of a January transfer spree that took Chelsea’s spending to 75 million pounds. Lampard said he had not expected Chelsea to spend big in the window.

"I was slightly surprised but it was very exciting and I was pleased," he said. "It’s a huge boost to have such quality players that we needed at the time.