(Reuters) – Chelsea’s Frank Lampard is a shining example for homegrown coaches looking to make a mark in the English game after his bright start at Stamford Bridge, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Lampard took charge at Chelsea after just one year of managerial experience at Derby County, where he guided the club to the Championship playoff final last season.
Ahead of City’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Saturday, Guardiola acknowledged similarities between his early days at Barcelona and Lampard’s impressive run this season.
“For English football it’s great when young English guys take over. He (Lampard) is perfect for English football,” the Catalan coach told a news conference.
“He has been a manager for a year-and-a-half and I am a little longer because I am a little older but he has his future in his hands.
“From my experience, experience doesn’t count much. I would say that when you know the club it is a good advantage and Lampard knows Chelsea perfectly and everything behind the scenes – media, fans, players – so that is good.”
In the wake of Chelsea’s transfer ban, Lampard has been tasked with the role to bring the best out of English youngsters such as Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the squad.
The club struggled to hit the ground running at the start of the campaign, picking up two wins in their first six league matches, but have since improved significantly and are chasing a seventh consecutive win when they visit the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea arrive with a one-point lead over fourth-placed City and Guardiola feels his opponents are among the title challengers alongside league leaders Liverpool and second-placed Leicester City.
“A few weeks ago there were two contenders and now we have four so maybe there will be six in a few days,” Guardiola added. “We are in November, there is a long way to play.”
Guardiola confirmed first-choice goalkeeper Ederson is fit and available to play this weekend after recovering from a muscular problem that he picked up against Atalanta in the Champions League earlier this month.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)