Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho left the Stamford Bridge club in DecemberGetty

Frank Lampard thinks "communication" problems were behind Jose Mourinho's Chelsea sacking. The Portuguese manager left the west London club in December 2015 and Lampard has suggested a breakdown in the relationship between the manager and his players was what led to his departure.

The 37-year-old played under Mourinho during his two spells in charge of the Premier League club. Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer admitted he was not surprised when news of the manager's departure was announced.

"There was obviously an issue with the communication with Jose Mourinho and I think that is why the club made the decision, because it does not make sense that so many players could be below par," he said, according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea have endured a difficult season, on and off the pitch but Lampard has backed the Blues' senior players to help change the club's fortunes in the coming months. "As I said, it is up to the individuals now," Lampard said. "I know when we had bad times before – and we did when I was there – it was always pulled round by JT, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Ivanovic, big names who had the bravery to say: 'Right, we are going to take this on'.

"That would be my worry now – John Terry is there and scored an equalising goal recently, and you would never doubt him and what he is going to do. Diego Costa has that kind of presence, as long as he controls himself and does not overstep the line, which we know he gets near to."

Lampard said it is important Chelsea's players accept responsibility for their own underachievement this season. "I want to see other players stand up," he said. "Good players may have got a lot of nice headlines over the last couple of years, but they also now need to stand up and turn it around for the club."