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Derby County owner Mel Morris did not expect to lose Lampard to Chelsea so soon

“It was always a risk but we didn’t think it would happen in the first season”

Derby County v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Frank Lampard’s debut season as a manager was a hit, even as Derby County fell just short of Premier League promotion once again. But Lampard managed to guide a bloated, yet youthful squad to meet the hopeful targets set at the beginning of the season, while also restoring some good vibes around Pride Park. Derby owner Mel Morris was certainly pleased with his decision to hire the rookie manager last summer.

“No [Lampard does not owe anything to Derby]. Forget football for a second, for a first season what Frank achieved was fantastic. Our aspiration was to get top six. To get there is different to saying it was our aspiration.”

“He helped us bring back to buzz and bring a style of football that suited with our academy – we have seen the benefits of that with the likes of Jayden Bogle.”

Chelsea’s aspirations may be similarly restrained at the moment, which should benefit Lampard in getting a bit of extra time, leeway, and understanding. While it’s not yet obvious what the target may be for next season, recent reports have made it clear that Chelsea are willing to exercise reasonable patience. Top four immediately after losing Eden Hazard might be a tough ask; then again, Lampard’s never been one to shirk from a challenge.

Of course, the deal is technically not done yet, but surely it’s only a matter of time. Morris had always known that he’d have to deal with this eventually, though he didn’t think it would be this soon.

“You don’t have to give [permission] but the situation is this. When we spoke to Frank originally we spoke about this situation. From that perspective it was always a risk but we didn’t think it would happen in the first season.”

“It’s impossible [to regret letting Lampard talk with Chelsea]. When Frank met me for the first time, we talked about this opportunity and even then we knew some stage this would happen, we just didn’t know when and we thought it would be some way off.”

“Right now it’s still not a done deal as far as I am concerned I am hoping this guy will manage us next season. At some point it will happen, whether now or in the future.”

-Mel Morris; Source: talkSport via Derby Telegraph

We probably don’t have to wait too long now.

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