Lampard hails Di Matteo approach

PA Sport
Frank Lampard (right) and Roberto Di Matteo
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Frank Lampard (right) and Roberto Di Matteo

Frank Lampard has suggested Roberto Di Matteo has dealt much better than Andre Villas-Boas with telling him that he has been left out of the Chelsea team.

Blues star Lampard has lifted the lid on his relationship with caretaker boss Di Matteo and it appears to be in stark contrast to that he endured with sacked manager Villas-Boas. Lampard admitted shortly before Villas-Boas' departure to having been at odds with the 34-year-old, who habitually omitted him from big games.

Di Matteo has started Lampard in almost every game, but omitted him from last week's Champions League quarter-final win at Benfica. Asked if Di Matteo had taken a different approach to Villas-Boas, Lampard told BBC Radio Five Live: "Yes, that is fair to say. I spoke with Robbie and certainly had no issue with it. I was delighted to get the result we got."

Di Matteo was reportedly not liked any more than Villas-Boas by the Chelsea squad while he was working as the Portuguese's assistant.

But players have been queuing up to hail the former Blues midfielder for the way he has transformed their season and the fairness he has shown to each individual.

Lampard said: "The number one makes the decisions and he is revelling in making those decisions.

"He has kept it very simple. It's a case of getting a confidence and passion through the team and, in the results we've had, you'd say he has done that."

Villas-Boas seemed determined to undertake a mass cull of older players at Stamford Bridge and asked if he had tried to change too much too soon, Lampard said: "It's hard to pinpoint things. I don't want to go too much over negatives.

"We didn't perform to a level, that's why the manager changed and us, as players, are not happy because you don't feel as proud as you should be when you know the squad we've got should be doing better.

"So the reasons are not quite clear but there's a lot to be said for having a confident squad. You have to have that to get the best out of all your players and I feel we are in a better position now than we were in the past."

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