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Football | FA Cup

Frank Lampard © Action Images

Lampard thanks fans amid uncertainty



Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has thanked the club's fans for their continued support as speculation continues to swirl around his future with the European champions.

Lampard came off the bench to score a penalty as Chelsea crushed Southampton 5-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday, after Blues fans had greeted his entrance by chanting 'Sign him up!'

The 34-year-old's contract expires at the end of the season, although British media reports on Sunday suggested Chelsea had opened talks over an extension to his current deal.

Lampard's strike at St Mary's took his tally of Chelsea goals to 193, equalling Kerry Dixon's club record and putting him joint-second behind Bobby Tambling's haul of 202.

The former West Ham United player seemed particularly emotional as he celebrated, and he revealed he had been touched by the warmth shown to him by Chelsea's supporters.

"They supported me throughout my career here and particularly in recent weeks," he said.

"The way they were with me then is the way they have been recently and all the time I've been here. I just wanted to say thanks back.

"That is our platform to say thanks back when we're on the pitch, to first of all do the business because they pay the money to come and watch, and when they have been so good to me, just to say it back to them.

"That is genuinely how I feel. This club has been amazing to me and the club is the fans so I can only thank them.

"I am enjoying my football, I have to say. I am enjoying the moment. I know there is a lot of talking going around, but I am actually really enjoying playing.

"That's what it is all about really, so even if there is certain things going on in your head, I think when I run out there and the fans support me the way they do, it can't help but make you a bit emotional."

On equalling Dixon's record, Lampard said: "It meant a lot as I have so much respect for Kerry.

"He was a player, is still a personality around the place, and a good friend of mine."

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