Frank Lampard said his Chelsea players did not have time to “cry their eyes” after their 3-0 Premier League loss to Sheffield United.
The Blues started the day in third place looking for a Champions League spot, but could fall from the top four on Monday if Leicester and Manchester United win their match.
David McGoldrick scored his first Premier League goal to give the Blades the edge and jumped again in the second period to seal an astonishing victory after Oli McBurnie’s thin header gave them a 2-0 lead part time.
Frank Lampard (above) saw Chelsea severely beaten by Sheffield United on Saturday
“You tend to learn more from difficult times and difficult games,” said Lampard. “The most important thing is that collectively, it is not (time) to cry our eyes.”
Lampard’s team had won five of their six previous Premier League games, but had been beaten in a round when they first visited Bramall Lane in almost 14 years.
“They were better than us physically, better than us mentally, better with the ball,” said Lampard.
David McGoldrick celebrates after his goal put Sheffield United in the lead at Bramall Lane
“They were also stronger than us. Without a crowd, you can hear every voice. All I could hear was voices from Sheffield United.
“You know, if you come here below normal collectively, like we did, then something like that will happen.
“We have to put that to bed and keep fighting to finish in the top four. We are still in this race because what we have done this season.
McGoldrick was on hand to strike in the 18th minute and claim his first Premier League goal
“I learned a lot today – I learned a lot that I will not forget. We might be outside the top four when we play again, but that’s not about it right now – I’m more concerned with this performance.
“I know we cannot approach our games against Norwich, Manchester United, Liverpool or Wolves in the same vein. “
The Blades surpassed the Wolves in sixth place, four points behind Manchester United, to give fresh impetus to their hopes in the Europa League.
But Wilder, who admitted that his team had “been close to our maximum” against Chelsea, tried to pour cold water on suggestions they could challenge to finish in the top four.
McGoldrick directs the ball into the net for his second goal and Sheffield United’s third goal
“Next game,” said Wilder. “Nobody talks about it. You are the only one talking about it. It is nothing from our point of view.
“We are right after another performance by the players. They seem to be enjoying their football.
United is on track to finish in the top six of the top 6 for the first time since 1975, but Wilder has made it clear that his players will stay focused.
“We will never get carried away,” he added. “It can be very dangerous. We appreciate it all. My players were exceptional.
“I will let the others speak of Europe. If I hear one of my players say it, they get kicked. Here we stay grounded.