Frank Lampard says he will “focus on the job in hand” after being named Chelsea’s caretaker manager, rather than trying to land the role full-time.
Lampard has completed a surprise return to Chelsea for the rest of the season, replacing the sacked Graham Potter.
The club say Lampard will take charge while they carry out an “exhaustive process” to find a permanent boss.“I want to do the best possible role I can and after that we will see what happens,” the 44-year-old said.
“I am not getting anywhere ahead of myself.” Lampard, who has been out of a job since he was dismissed by Everton in January, previously managed Chelsea from July 2019 until he was sacked in January 2021. His first game will be away to Wolves in the Premier League tomorrow before a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Lampard was a player at Stamford Bridge when interim boss Roberto di Matteo led the club to Champions League glory as a caretaker before earning the job on a full-time basis. Asked if he could follow a similar path, the former midfielder said: “It won’t be my decision so again I don’t want to jump forward to that.
“I understand I will get asked that question a lot. I have my eyes wide open. The important thing for me is to park that and focus on the job in hand.”
Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League, 14 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, despite having spent more than £550m on new players this season.
Announcing Lampard’s appointment, co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said: “We want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season.
“We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.” Lampard, who scored 211 goals in 648 games at Chelsea, said it was an “easy decision” to return.
“This is my club,” he said. “[I have] a lot of emotional feelings towards the club.” In his previous managerial spell, Lampard took over with the Blues under a transfer embargo but guided them to a fourth-place finish and the FA Cup final in his first season in charge.
After spending £200m the following summer on seven major signings, including current players Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz, he could not replicate the early promise and was sacked by previous owner Roman Abramovich with the club ninth in the Premier League, having won only two of their previous eight games.
He was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who led Chelsea to victory in the Champions League final four months later. After being sacked by Chelsea, Lampard was named Everton boss in January 2022.
He guided them to safety from relegation last season but was removed eight days shy of his one-year anniversary in the role after nine defeats in 12 Premier League games this campaign.
Culled from BBCSports