Frank Lampard looks ahead to special Chelsea return as Derby County manager
Frank Lampard is looking forward to a special night as he prepares for a Stamford Bridge return with his Derby County giant killers.
The Rams boss, who spent 13 years as a player with Chelsea - winning every domestic and European title, will take his Championship side for a fourth round Carabao Cup tie at the home of the Blues.
Lampard’s Derby beat Manchester United, managed by his former boss Jose Mourinho, in the previous round of the competition.
“I didn’t expect to go up against Jose Mourinho and I didn’t expect to go to Stamford Bridge and set my team up against Chelsea, but I’m delighted on both fronts,” said Lampard.
“The opportunity to go there so soon is big for me and big for the players. We’ve got a lot of young players and a lot of experienced players who are very driven and want to play in the Premier League against Premier League teams.
“They deserve to have the occasion and to go up against a fantastic Chelsea side no matter who they put out on the night.”
Derby look set to be without Craig Bryson and George Evans, who both have minor issues, but on loan duo Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have been granted permission by their parent club, Chelsea, to play in the fixture.
Lampard added: “It’s an honour to manage Derby County Football Club, that’s for sure. I’m loving doing this and working with the players and staff and the opportunity to go back to Chelsea is a special one for me on all fronts.
“I want us to be going there regularly every season, that’s the aim at Derby, but this is part of a process here. We went to Old Trafford and showed what we can do so all I ask is that we do the same and give a good account of ourselves.
“I see it as another game that we prepare for, where we are professional, and we want to win.
“The league is hugely important for us at the minute and this is sandwiched between a different period of games for us, but we focus on Chelsea, getting through to the next round, and our performance, because all we can control.”