Frank Lampard says he is ready to return to football management amid links with the Crystal Palace job.
The former Chelsea and Derby County boss has been out of a job since being replaced by Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge in January, but a return could be on the horizon, and not too far from the Bridge itself.
Lampard is the favourite to take over at Crystal Palace after Roy Hodgson announced he would walk away from his role at the end of this season.
And the former Chelsea midfielder makes no bones about the fact he is ready to return to management, as long as the project he is walking into is the right one.
“It’s something I love doing, I love working in management, even more than I thought I would do,” he told the Mirror.
He added: “I would take a view on going into the Championship.
“If it was the right club, the right project for sure. I don’t have an ego where I feel just because I’ve managed in the Champions League, that’s the be-all and end-all. My year at Derby was such an enjoyable year.”
Lampard the player was and is a much-loved figure at Chelsea, but as a head coach, he faced a fair bit of criticism from fans, having failed to get the best out of a squad that was strengthened by around £250million worth of new signings last summer.
Though, the way things ended have not soured Lampard’s attachment to the Blues. He added: “My emotional attachment with the club won’t change for so many reasons.
“For the reasons that Chelsea fans accepted me as a West Ham boy all those years ago, for the reasons that Roman Abramovich came to the club and made my career by putting me in this amazing squad and turning away from that would be impossible.”
Speaking about how fans reacted to his sacking, he continued: “I did see the fans singing. People sent me clips and I saw it. I did wonder after I got sacked how the fans would react, but I am so thankful for that and that’s been the story of me with the Chelsea fans ever since I went there.
“I probably could have taken an easier route at the time whatever that was. Maybe stay at Derby, make another small step to a team where there’s not so much expectation, you’re not expected to win every week and I wanted to get the challenge.
“I’m not sure if I was to come back to Chelsea at 55 years of age, with titles behind me, I think the rules would be the same. There is an expectation to perform, to win and if you don’t then you might leave the club.
“But I’m good, I’m very happy. The timing of leaving is never something you want professionally but if ever there’s a time then it’s probably when your son is due in a month’s time which was from when I left Chelsea and he’s two months old now.”
Lampard may have been struggling to get the most out of his players, but he did help them on their way to reaching the Champions League final, and current boss Tuchel did give him credit for that last week during a press conference.
That’s something Lampard was impressed by. “I appreciated his (Tuchel’s) words last week,” he said.
“I was pleased to hear them because I think it’s right. I’m not just giving myself credit. But if I was in his shoes I would certainly speak like that so he’s giving me credit for the first half of the season.”
Speaking about the success Tuchel has managed so far, Lampard added: “He’s taken it on and I’ll give him credit for that as well because to reach two finals and to be in contention for the top four, I know that battle from last year, we were in it last year and it’s tough battle, especially in the run-in.”
Source by Football London