Frank Lampard: Derby County boss makes Chelsea comparison ahead of Play-Off Final | Football | Sport


Derby County take on Aston Villa today (3pm) at Wembley Stadium for a chance to win promotion to the Premier League.

Lampard has the chance to cap off an impressive first season in management by sealing Derby’s first promotion since 2007.

It could be his final game in charge of the Rams, however, as speculation continues to link him with the managerial job at his beloved Chelsea.

With Maurizio Sarri teetering on the verge of leaving the Blues after just one season, Roman Abramovich is said to be keen on bringing in Lampard as a replacement.

But the 40-year-old remained coy on the links, and instead suggested that he was only an “easy link” to the job, should it become available.

Instead, he chose to focus on the task at hand, as his side prepares to win promotion after four failed attempts in five years.

They face a tough task, however, as Villa have won 11 from their last 14 games in the Championship, and will go into today’s game as favourites.

But Lampard believes he has seen worse before, and likened the pressure to that of when he was a player trying to secure Champions League qualification.

Chelsea ended up beating Liverpool on the final day of the 2002-2003 Premier League season to qualify for Europe, and the former midfielder will be hoping to draw some inspiration for his players today.

“If I can match it to something it will be the Chelsea game we played a long time ago just before Roman Abramovich came to the club,” he said to the official Chelsea website.

“We had a game against Liverpool to make it to the Champions League. If we lost that game the club was in real trouble, and if we won then things would change.

“Although we didn’t quite know how well they would change.

“There was tension before that game among the players but I don’t feel that here.

“It’s a crucial game for the club but what I’ve tried to do is take that away from the players.

“I just want them to think about a football match. The lads don’t need to think about £170million, they don’t need to think about next year or their holidays. They just need to think about Monday.”

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