Frank Lampard says his new job as Derby County manager “won’t be easy” but that it presents a “huge opportunity” after joining the Rams on a three-year deal.
Lampard, taking on his first managerial role, was one of 20 applicants for the job and becomes Derby’s seventh appointment in just over three years.
The 39-year-old ex-Chelsea and England midfielder said he spent “considerable time” discussing the role.
He replaces Gary Rowett after he left to join fellow Championship side Stoke.
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“I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity,” said Lampard.
“I have spent considerable time discussing the role and the club’s objectives with the chairman and board members.
“This is my first job as a manager, but I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me, including the board.
“I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is – but I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Lampard, capped 106 times by England, made 649 appearances for Chelsea and is the club’s record goalscorer.
Derby finished sixth in the second tier last season but lost in the play-off semi-finals to Fulham and have been without a manager since Rowett’s departure on 22 May.
Chelsea youth team coach Jody Morris, a former Blues team-mate of Lampard’s, is expected to join the Rams’ coaching staff.
A Stamford Bridge legend
Lampard left Chelsea in 2014 having won 11 major trophies. He has three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League from his time in west London.
He started his career with West Ham, moving to Chelsea for £11m in 2001 before later going on to play for Manchester City and New York City prior to his retirement in February 2017.
Following his international debut in 1999, Lampard scored 29 goals for England and appeared in three World Cups and one European Championships.
“Few players have achieved what Frank has in his career to date,” said Derby chairman Mel Morris.
“He’s a winner, a leader who knows what it takes to succeed and who has the character and charisma to be a fantastic manager for us.
“The board were unanimous that he was the stand-out applicant with many highly desirable and unique capabilities.”
Ex-West Ham and Tottenham manager, and Lampard’s uncle, Harry Redknapp
“I couldn’t be more pleased for him and Derby, it’s a great appointment. He’s got a big advantage as he goes in there on the back of a great playing career.
“He’s a very intelligent and very bright lad who knows the game, so I don’t think he’ll have any problems in the dressing room.
“The players will be delighted to have him as their manager, so it’s a great fit.”
Former Chelsea and Scotland winger Pat Nevin
“He is hugely intelligent and his attitude is fantastic. Derby is such a big club and Frank has a huge opportunity there.
“There are a bunch of ifs against Frank but that’s nothing against him. There isn’t a player in the world who I would say there weren’t ifs about.
“If you get it slightly wrong or you’re unlucky and end up mid-table, people think you’re a dud – but Frank’s not a dud. You need circumstances to fall in your favour.”
Ex-Coventry and Aston Villa forward Dion Dublin
“I see Frank as the kind of player who just looks like a manager. He has the presence, he talks incredibly well and his knowledge of the game is great.
“The team around him will be important as he has no management experience whatsoever.
“There will be pressure on him from above and from the fans.”