• Lampard takes over from Gary Rowett and signs three-year deal
• ‘I’m flattered a club of the stature of Derby County want me’
Frank Lampard took over the managerial reins at Derby County promising to be his own man, not a clone of any of the successful managers he has worked with at Chelsea or with England.
“Everybody has to start somewhere and I’m flattered that a club of the stature of Derby County want me as their manager,” the 39 year old said on his first day at Pride Park. “I have had few conversations with other clubs, I wouldn’t go as far as to say offers, but this feels like a fantastic opportunity for me.”
Lampard becomes the second former England player with a century of caps to move into management in the last few weeks, following his old midfield partner Steven Gerrard getting the job at Rangers. Gerrard’s was one of the first messages of congratulations Lampard received when the announcement was made – José Mourinho beat him by a few minutes – and the new Derby manager believes the pair have much in common.
“Steve stepped out of his comfort zone to take a job away from Liverpool, and I think I know why he did that,” Lampard said. “I know him very well and he’s a competitive man, he want’s to be challenged and he wants to be a winner. I think we are both in the same boat now, and it’s great that young managers are getting such exciting opportunities.”
Lampard intends to honour his BBC commitments as an analyst at the World Cup in Russia, though will now come back earlier in time for Derby’s pre-season. He had been looking for a chance in management, and felt the Derby job was one he could not refuse. “I’ve been away from the game for 18 months now and I have enjoyed doing different things, but I found I still had the desire to be involved,” he explained. “I’m here to work hard, to be competitive and to be successful, and for this club success means promotion.”
Lampard played down the possibility of recruiting the newly-available John Terry to add his considerable experience to the promotion push – “I’ve had a good luck message from him but we haven’t talked, I believe he’s on holiday,” – and absolutely ruled out any possibility of making a playing comeback himself.
“There’s no chance of me playing again, I knew when it was the right time to finish,” he said. “The focus now is all on me as a manager, and I think that’s the way it has to be. This is a new chapter, and I want to prove myself.”