In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Derby County boss Frank Lampard tells us what it will be like going back to Chelsea, whether he has ambitions to take over at Stamford Bridge one day, and how he would feel getting one over on his former club.
Lampard takes his Derby side to Chelsea for a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie on Wednesday night looking to build on the already impressive start to his managerial career.
The 40-year-old may have only taken over at Pride Park in May, but he has already guided the club to the Championship play-off places and within a win of the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
Lampard’s young team – including Chelsea loanees Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who have been given the green light to play against their parent club – will travel to west London full of confidence having knocked out Manchester United on penalties in the third round.
And here, the man who scored a record 211 goals for Chelsea – including four the last time Derby visited the Bridge 10 years ago – talks the ‘Frank Lampard Way’, that game at Old Trafford, the British core to his side, and what has most surprised him about management.
“I was delighted when the draw came out. Having gone and played a year at Manchester City, which I did not expect to do, and then I went back to Chelsea and the goal… it did not take away from anything between me and Chelsea, it was just nice to go back.
This is my new career and a new challenge for me, but that club stays with me. So it is all good emotions and then down to the business.
Thirteen years of memories and what the club did for me. I was fortunate to be part of a great club, great people, great fans and it is a club that stays with you throughout your life.
It was a special era and it will always be my place. Obviously now I have a job and things change, but Chelsea and the people there will always be in my heart. Hopefully it will just be loads of love both ways!
If you talk about dreams, I want to manage and I want to manage at the top. Doesn’t everybody?
But I would be stupid to get that far ahead of myself. I am here and loving this club, I really am. The staff, fans, players, it is an incredible club with a great history.
I am in this moment now. So for me to try and jump forward to Chelsea or anywhere else… That will rely on how I do here. This is the start of the journey.
I am not a dreamer, I am a day-by-day man and I want to be successful here. That is the only thing I will be thinking about. I will be happy to be at Stamford Bridge, of course, but I will also be thinking about the job in hand.
It was a difficult year for Derby and I managed to score four goals against them, so hopefully it is better for Derby this time around.”
Do you think his side will beat Chelsea?