Frank Lampard insists he is his own man as he prepares his Chelsea side to face former manager Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Chelsea take the short trip across the capital to meet their London rivals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, in a clash with could have huge implications in the race to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
The fixture will also see Lampard face his former Chelsea manager for the first time in opposing dugouts at Premier League level, the duo having won a host of major silverware together at Stamford Bridge including two league titles. Last season the two faced other at Old Trafford in the League Cup when Lampard’s Derby County defeated Mourinho’s Man United on penalties.
The 41-year-old admits he learned a lot working under the two-times Champions League winner as a player, but insists he is no clone of the Portuguese coach and is relishing locking horns with Mourinho this weekend.
Asked if there was anything he had gleaned from years of playing under Mourinho, Lampard told his pre-match press conference: “There’s not one thing, no; he’s obviously a good manager with loads of good attributes. But there’s not one specific thing I learned working under him, and I wouldn’t strive to be a clone or anything.
“I’m happy to go up against Jose; for me to play under him, he was a big influence in my career. To go up against him for Derby against Manchester United last year was a big deal for me. And that still remains.
“I’ll always have respect for him. The bigger thing is Chelsea-Tottenham, and what that rivalry means to our players and us. Rivalries are what you feel about your club. Our fans will demand on Sunday what we feel for the game – passion.”
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