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Frank Lampard says he will never let power go to his head at Chelsea, with the Blues boss prepared to make mistakes and let everyone at Stamford Bridge be responsible for their own actions.
He is taking in just a third season as an elite coach, having spent one year at Derby before making an emotional return to west London in the summer of 2019.
Lampard has been on a steep learning curve, but he has cleared many of the obstacles put in front of him and is looking to remain grounded as he calls the shots at one of the biggest clubs in England.
He told Chelsea’s official website of his approach: “It’s of utmost importance to me as a manager and it’s a message that you really have to drill home, because it’s very easy when you’re a coach or a manager and you’ve been there and had your career and you know you made a million mistakes, when you sit at the top of the tree, or in my office at Chelsea, not to think like the 21-year-old who’s making those mistakes you made and just think you’re above it.
“You have to get on the level of these players and they all have different thoughts, they all have different reasons, something at home, on the training pitch, how they see things. So I can’t think that my morals or my values just transmit to everybody and then everyone will be a great trainer like I was and make the most of their talent. Because I didn’t, I made mistakes.
“I have to be very open to that. So for the players to try to take responsibility is a daily chip away at trying to create something that feels that way and we’re in that process at Chelsea. I’m not going to lie, we’ve not won that battle yet, because it definitely takes time, particularly with a younger squad and we have a lot of young players.”
Lampard is prepared to keep making big decisions that he believes will benefit the collective cause, on the back of a big summer spend that has raised expectations at Chelsea, but accepts that not every call will go to plan.
He added: “My view now as a manager is that I am responsible and I think that the only way you can create an environment that looks like you’re asking for everyone to be 100 per cent responsible is by them seeing that from yourself.
“So I don’t think it’s a problem to show weakness. I don’t think it’s a problem for me to try to prepare a team for a week and work on a shape and then you come up and it doesn’t work at the weekend, to be a bit open with the players.
“One of my things that I really try to do is look at myself and say; ‘what could I have done there, I can’t blame the players for that performance’. At moments you’ll sit down with reflection, and of course you look at how the squad looks, but I must make myself 100 per cent culpable as well.”