Frank Lampard insists he “loves” the rivalry with Leeds – and even enjoys the players singing about him.
Leeds players celebrated promotion last summer by copying the fans’ chant of “Stop Crying Frank Lampard” which dates back to when Lampard was in charge at Derby in 2019 and had the “Spygate” bust-up with Marcelo Bielsa.
Lampard celebrated in real fashion when Derby knocked out Leeds in the play-offs and now the rivalry resumes with Chelsea and between two clubs who had infamous bust-ups dating way back to the 1970s.
Chelsea boss Lampard said: “I love it. I’m not just trying to laugh about it because it is important and us winning that game in the play-offs is one of the proudest most enjoyable games of my career because Leeds are such a strong team.
“We were quite young and mixed, and I think on the day we performed against a really strong team and a great manager, and it sits right up there with my favourite games I’ve been involved in.
“I don’t mind the ‘Stop Crying Frank Lampard.’ I had my moment when we won and I’m very aware that when you have your moments there will be people that will glory in the moments that don’t go for you in football and it’s not a problem, I’ve got a lot of respect for Leeds.
“And I feel it was only right they came up the next season because of what Bielsa has done and the power they had in that Championship. They had to come up and they are showing that they deserve to be in this league.
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“There are two things, long term rivalry and that’s great and that’s football and then the rivalry with myself and Marcelo but there’s nothing in that. We’re only focussing on our teams and trying to win this game. We’re fighting different battles and trying to do our best for our clubs.”
Lampard has done an impressive job at Chelsea, he was respectful to Bielsa when talking about the Leeds boss and yet they go into the weekend just two points off the top.
Will Chelsea pick up their fourth win in five Premier League matches as they host Leeds? Have your say here.
His former team mate, West Brom defender Branislav Ivanovic, has even tipped Lampard to become a future England boss while the ex-Chelsea midfielder is also now surely in line for a new contract with his current deal having 18 months left to run.
Lampard added: “Firstly, I appreciate Brana’s words, he’s a good friend so I appreciate the positive words in there. i appreciate it and if there was ever an opportunity, later down the line, it’s something I would certainly look at but you should never get too far down the line in this job.
“In terms of my contract, it seems to have flown by the time I’ve been here and you’re right I’ve got 18 months left and I felt it when I came to the club, I knew there were a lot of circumstances at the beginning that were going to make last year transitional and maybe slightly difficult.
“I’m a lucky man to be managing the club that I love and is my life. So, of course, I want to make a success of it and be here as long as I can.”
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