Kante misses Hatters cup tie but Giroud is fit as Chelsea boss Lampard gets ready for 'tough competitor' in Luton

Blues chief determined to reach the next round when facing Town at Stamford Bridge
N'Golo Kante wins the ball for Chelsea against Aston Villa recentlyN'Golo Kante wins the ball for Chelsea against Aston Villa recently
N'Golo Kante wins the ball for Chelsea against Aston Villa recently

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been ruled out of the FA Cup fourth round clash against Luton Town at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

The 29-year-old French international hasn't featured since the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month after being suspended and then struggling with a hamstring injury.

Striker Olivier Giroud is fit though, the fellow Frenchman scoring 14 goals for club and country this season as speaking to the Blues official website, boss Frank Lampard said: "Olivier is fit, he trained with us today, N'Golo is not fit.

"He's outside on his own with the physios at the moment, so we're hoping he will back as soon as possible, but we'll see."

On the game itself, Lampard, who successfully navigated a comfortable passage past League Two Morecambe in the last round, winning 4-0, knows going up against the Hatters will be a far greater test for his out of form side, currently on a run of five defeats in 10 games.

He said: "Luton are going to be a tough competitor.

"They are going pretty well in the Championship, they are a good team, and this is the FA Cup and we know what comes with it.

"I’ll be picking a team to try and win the game and get us through to the next round.’

Following a 2-0 defeat at Leicester last time out, Lampard has demanded his players get back to the energetic ways that saw them climb to third in the table last month, sitting just two points off top spot .

He said: "One of the things that set us apart as a team last year was our energy.

"There were parts of that this year when we were on a good run. We needed that to beat Leeds and beat Sevilla and I feel proud when I put out a team that shows that.

‘We did it last year and we managed to get to fourth position. When I see (our energy) come off we have to call it out and we have to work in training to get it better.

"You cannot play if you don’t run first. As a group we need to get back to the energy we were finding when we were winning games."

Although Lampard himself is under pressure from some sections of the media going into the game, he appears to still retain the backing of the Chelsea supporters, with a banner put up at Stamford Bridge, stating: 'In Frank we trust. Then. Now. Forever.'

The boss added: "My concern is not the pressure on me because I can deal with it, because I have been in football a long, long time as a player at top clubs, so I understand how it goes and it is different as a player.

"The pressure needs to be positive on the players because it’s the players that make you a good manager or a not so good manager and that can flip very quickly, as we always see.

"I don’t mind taking the pressure, the players have to feel a good pressure.

"They want to win games, they want to get some form back, we know how quickly the form and results can turn in this league, we have seen it now more than ever, so we just have to direct that pressure in the right way on the pitch.

"I absolutely appreciate the fans that put together to create the banner

"I think everyone who knows me or watched me as a player or watches me as a manager knows how I feel about this club, so I appreciate that very much."