Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has dismissed outside criticism over their summer spending.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp took aim at Chelsea and their £200m-plus outlay this week.
But Lampard says: “I’m not interested in other people; other people can talk about whether we challenge or not,” Lampard told a press conference ahead of Chelsea’s opening match at Brighton on Monday night.
“For me, we finished a lot of points behind Liverpool and Manchester City in the last two seasons, as has everybody else, that’s the way that the league has gone.
“So we have to first look at closing the gap, and build confidence, by getting the team working well together. I’m not jumping ahead and making any predictions on us.
“I thrive off those pressures and I enjoy them. I understand the different nature of pressure coming this year. It is why I love doing it.
“I didn’t come into this job to fight for fourth place, although I know last year that it was an achievement and one of our goals that we set out to.
“I didn’t come in to just bring academy players into the first-team and say I made debuts for this many players, I came here to win.
“Any club at our level has to try and tick the major boxes and recruitment is a huge part of that. Last year we weren’t able to recruit in a big way.
“I wasn’t able to bring in players I felt might be helpful for the way I wanted to go and the style I wanted to play. This year, I have been able to have some impact on that.
“But the club has, more importantly, been able to make decisions to bring in players. It changes the landscape, yes, but I am excited by that as much as feeling the pressure. I am ready to go and work.”