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Lampard hungry to show what he can do at Derby

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

LONDON • Frank Lampard strode on to the Pride Park pitch to film his Derby County arrival video in modern style, drones soaring overhead, the new manager looking magnificent in the technical area, and sensed something "special".

The filming was done last Wednesday night, the video released on Thursday morning after which Lampard, 39, opened up on the experience and his ambitions in his eagerly awaited venture into management.

"It was intense, with just the floodlights on and feeling the size of this club - goosebumps," Lampard said.

"The sense of responsibility I feel already. You walk through the city and feel that everyone is a Derby fan. History should never die and that's why it's important these walls are painted with Brian Clough, Peter Taylor and the great players of the Seventies. I'll tap on those for inspiration.

"I'm not going to say we're going to get back to that because they won leagues and were in European Cup semis, etc.

"But, at the same time, why not aspire to those great people?"

Lampard, who has signed a three-year deal, is the latest manager charged with reviving Derby. As news seeped, he received a good-luck text from John Terry.

WALKING WITH FANS

You walk through the city and feel that everyone is a Derby fan. History should never die and that's why it's important these walls are painted with Brian Clough, Peter Taylor and the great players of the Seventies.

FRANK LAMPARD, former Chelsea player, who is the new Derby County manager.

"John will definitely be there for me. We're close," he said.

"Literally a minute after the announcement, Jose (Mourinho) sent a message. Steven (Gerrard) sent a message this morning. We had a lot of conversations last year (on BT Sport duty) and I knew Steven's hunger to get into first-team management, even when he was working at Liverpool.

"I'll be watching Steven and willing him to succeed (at Rangers). It's an era of younger managers."

Former England midfield players are en vogue, with Michael Carrick stepping up as a coach under Mourinho at Manchester United.

Like Carrick and Gerrard, Lampard hails from a football-obsessed family. With Harry Redknapp as uncle, and cousin Jamie Redknapp, as well as his father Frank Sr. Lampard, he has been around people who talked football, played it and talked again about football.

"For as long as I can remember, it was all football," Lampard recalled.

"You can't take away that edge and that competitive football-in-your-blood feeling I have had since growing up."

"As I see my career I feel like I made the most of it, every ounce," he added.

"To transform from a chubby slow kid, as my dad used to call me, into an effective player who could get box to box and score goals, took a lot of work.

"One of my proudest achievements is I got every ounce out of myself and I will try to do that with my players.

"I was always hungry to show what I could do. I'll be the same as a manager.

"I know the rules of football: you have to match everybody for desire. The biggest thing Jose did for me was not a technical, tactical change.

"It was a mindset change, a confidence thing, a belief - from being a player who thought I was doing pretty well at Chelsea - that you can go an extra step and do better on a bigger stage."

He knows that lifting Derby back to the Premier League is a big restoration project.

"The only time I'll feel this is my 'kingdom' is when we get success," he said.

"When I came off the pitch after the video, I looked into the manager's office - the manager's office! - and thought, 'I want to be here in 10 months' time having brought success'. Only then will it rank with my other footballing achievements."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'Lampard hungry to show what he can do at Derby'. Print Edition | Subscribe