LONDON – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has criticised France's handling of an injury that has ruled N'Golo Kante out of the Londoners' Premier League clash at home to Newcastle United on Saturday.
Lampard told reporters on Friday that midfielder Kante, who has had a stop-start season, was unavailable after returning from international duty.
“N'Golo's not fit for Saturday. He had a small groin issue in the warm-up to the first international game with France and we didn't get him back until after the second game,” he told reporters.
“After the first game when he pulled out, he then had a fitness test the day before the second game, clear that he couldn't play and he then sat on the bench on the evening of the game.
“It's not such a laughing matter...I think that probably could have been handled better,” said Lampard. “It was quite clear he wasn't fit to play, so from our point of view we'd have wanted him back to work on him.”