CHELSEA fans have raised more than £1,000 to show their support for under-fire gaffer Frank Lampard.
Pressure is mounting on the Blues legend following an alarming run of four defeats in six Premier League games.
SunSport understands Lampard is in no immediate danger of being sacked – but club chiefs have been alerted to Thomas Tuchel's availability after his axing by Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea have slipped to ninth in the table, although a number of fans are still backing the 42-year-old.
Supporters' group We Are The Shed organised a crowdfunding drive to create an 'In Frank We Trust' banner.
And the initial target of £999 has been smashed, with 115 fans raising a total of £1,455 at the time of writing.
A statement on the JustGiving page read: "If Chelsea supporters were allowed in the stadium they would be giving Frank Lampard and Co. the backing they deserve.
"Whilst supporters are kept out of stadiums the narrative is more likely to be created from online accounts and media outlets, not those singing from the stands.
"Frank Lampard has the support of the real Chelsea faithful from all over the world and we want to show him that by creating this new, 15 metre large banner to be placed inside Stamford Bridge this weekend. We are in talks with the club and are hopeful that we will be able to have this hung in time for Sunday's FA Cup match against Morecambe but at the moment nothing is 100% set in stone at present.
"The group members have already raised the bulk of the money, a total of £890, and just need the remaining £110 to cover the cost. One we have reached our goal please do not donate any further. There will be other opportunities for you to get involved in the future. Any additional money will be donated to charity or our local food bank.
"Donating any amount big or small is greatly appreciated. We know times might be hard for some at this time so, if you do wish to contribute toward this display, even 10 or 20p goes a long way.
"The cost of the banner is so high for two reasons, the size and the fact we are paying for it to be produced in time for the weekend. As always we will post the full receipt online for transparency."
Chelsea fans donating to the cause left messages in support of Lampard – the club's all-time record goalscorer.
A supporter chucking in £20 wrote: "Frank forever."
A fan contributing a tenner commented: "Too many people have a lack of patience and require instant gratification. In Frank We Trust!"
While a third donating a fiver simply said: "Super Frank."
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Chelsea are suffering their second worst-ever start to a Premier League season in the Roman Abramovich era.
Speaking after last Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Lampard said: “I’m not going to speak for people above me — or the board — because I can never do that.
“That’s why I couldn’t answer a month ago about me getting a new contract and why I can’t answer what they’re thinking about now.”
He added: “I will always feel the heat.
“I felt the heat when we were on our good run because I know that around the corner can be the negative.
“And we are not a team that has been churning out results and has got to the level of Liverpool or Manchester City.
“It is my job to focus on working on the players, not what the people above are thinking — that would just distract me and I can’t do it.”
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