Frank Lampard has admitted he ‘relies’ on role models Thiago Silva and Olivier Giroud in the Chelsea dressing room.
Giroud and Silva are two of the more senior and experienced players currently at the club at the age of 34 and 36 respectively.
Silva signed for Chelsea in the summer window after ending his eight-year stay at Paris Saint-Germain in which he won seven league titles and also reached the UEFA Champions League final.
Silva has made a good start to his Chelsea career and looks set to extend his time in west London by signing a new contract.
Asked about the support he receives from Chelsea’s senior players, Lampard said: ‘That’s hugely important. ‘When you’re a coach or manager you have a huge responsibility, but you also don’t sit in the dressing room.
‘I hardly ever go in. So you rely on people like Olivier Giroud, who is a great example because he’s not always playing.
‘Maybe some senior players would turn away, but Oli and Tammy have a great relationship. ‘Because of the lack of crowds, I can hear the substitutes behind me and Oli is constantly praising Tammy when he holds the ball up or does some good centre-forward play.
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‘That’s special. With someone like Thiago Silva, who doesn’t have the language, it’s through performance, the way he prepares and trains and his serious nature. That’s an instant rub-off.’
Lampard also spoke about his decision to return to Chelsea as manager. He added: ‘It’s my club and the pull of it was always going to get me, no matter where I might have been. I didn’t know when that Chelsea opportunity might come around again, if ever.
‘On top of that, the idea of staying at Derby was a tough one. It was at a tough period and I think that’s become evident now.
‘So the decision was clear-cut, but I did have doubts — if ‘doubts’ is the right word.
‘(Managing) Derby was doing it on a much smaller scale, tight-knit, expectations level so-so and some games would go under the radar if you didn’t get a great result.
‘At Chelsea, I knew all of that would change instantly and I wanted to have a positive impact because I knew that my name and the ex-player thing wouldn’t last that long.
‘So yeah, I had a lot of doubts. I got to work. One thing I’m pretty good at is trying to listen and learn and react. I’m open to that.
‘I’m my own biggest critic, so there’s loads of things from last year, loads of little moments where I look back and try and keep improving on.’