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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

Lampard praises the ‘stability’ of Brentford as he refuses to comment on managerial speculation

Interim Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes that Brentford’s stability has helped them adapt successfully to life in the Premier League ahead of his side's meeting with their west London rivals on Wednesday.

Thomas Frank’s men currently sit 10th in the topflight in just their second-ever season of Premier League football, one place above Chelsea in the standings in what is the Dane’s fifth season in charge.

Lampard, who is Chelsea’s third manager of the campaign following the departures of both Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, pointed to how the environment at Brentford has set them up for life in the Premier League.

“They’ve been impressive with everything,” he said, “stability, really good coach. [They’ve had the] consistency to stay with the coach through difficult moments which you have in seasons – they’ve come through those always.

“They’ve got a clear idea of how they want to play, and with their recruitment. Huge credit to everybody involved.”

Lampard refused to comment on reports that emerged yesterday suggesting that former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is the preferred candidate to become the next permanent Chelsea manager.

He was also unable to guarantee that he would see out the remaining seven games of the current season as interim boss.

“I wouldn’t expect anything in football,” he said.

“I think it is very clear that we have come into this club when there have been big difficulties. We had one day to prepare for [the first game against] Wolves, two days to prepare for Real Madrid.

“The team and the club have been struggling for a while. We came in with a view to help. The world won’t change in a short time, but we’ll keep doing our maximum to do that.”

Defeat against Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final last time out means Chelsea will end the campaign without silverware, yet Lampard felt there was still plenty to play for in what remains of the season.

“I don’t have a mentality that there is nothing to play for,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to be part of teams that were challenging for stuff towards the end of the season, but that’s not a given.

“The fact that we’ve been fortunate enough to have that at Chelsea for 15, 20 years now, there is a lot of clubs with a big status in the Premier League that don’t do that. That’s why we feel it that bit more.

“When you have long careers – I’ve had one as a player and now as a coach – you won’t compete absolutely every season. It comes down to your personal pride and responsibility when you are wearing the shirt.”

The 44-year-old confirmed that two of his key men won’t be available to face Brentford and may well miss the remainder of his temporary spell in charge.

“Reece James is unavailable; probably for the season,” he revealed. “Mason Mount the same. [There is] potential for him [to be back] for the last game of the season but probably not.

“That’s obviously disappointing for us. They’re big players.

“Reece had a hamstring injury that he picked up in the Madrid game. He got through the game, but we scanned it the following day.

“Mason has been carrying this pelvic injury for quite a while. Definitely pre-dates myself [coming in as interim manager] by quite a while. Medical staff have been trying [to solve the issue] but we’ve got to a stage now where he’ll have a minor surgery.”


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