Frank Lampard is ready to play a part in the “collaborative” vision for Chelsea’s future held by the club’s owners as he prepares to lead the team through the final weeks of the season.
The 44-year-old was appointed as interim boss in place of Graham Potter who was sacked on Sunday just 31 games into a five-year contract.
Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League and, despite spending more than £500million since Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital consortium took control in May, have scored fewer goals than any side in the division’s top half.
This week the club opened talks with ex-Spain boss Luis Enrique, who arrived in London on Wednesday, about becoming Potter’s permanent replacement, with Julian Nagelsmann, who left Bayern Munich in March, also under consideration.
Chelsea have made it clear that they intend to conduct a thorough search for their next manager after hurriedly appointing the former Brighton boss in September just 24 hours after the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
Lampard is the club’s all-time top scorer, netting 211 times across a 13-year spell at Stamford Bridge, but was dismissed after only 18 months when he returned as manager under former owner Roman Abramovich.
Despite the turmoil that has rocked the club during a disappointing season, he said that he has observed plenty within the owners’ plans for the club to convince him they are suitable custodians.
“From conversations I’ve had with the people running the club now, they’ve all been very positive,” said Lampard. “I’m very experienced now in working at different clubs. You get an understanding of what you feel like is a club that has a vision and wants to move forward.
“Of course, it’s about people at that point. Good people working in the right direction, collaborating and talking, trying to find the right way. That’s the sense I’ve had in coming here. I’m ready to play my part in that process.”
It is Lampard’s first job since being sacked by Everton in January with the club’s top-flight status under threat.
He echoed Chelsea’s position that his appointment at Stamford Bridge is temporary, allowing co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart breathing room to conduct the club’s latest managerial search.
However, he hinted he would not be averse to a longer stay if the final matches of the season – which include both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid – go well.
“It’s clear what the role is in terms of the title of the role,” said Lampard. “I absolutely understand that. I want to do as well as I can in this period to show that I’m capable of coaching and managing really well, then we’ll see what happens. I don’t need answers to that point.
“The feeling I have from the club is that they want to do a process to find the right person to take it forward, whoever that may be. That’s absolutely their prerogative. Maybe that’s why I’m here in this period. It’s not for me to decide what the club’s process and how they go about it is.
“This is a club that I’m connected to. I just want to do well in this moment. Then after that, it may mean that I say ‘thank you very much’ and look at the future.
“At that point I’ll be very happy and say ‘thanks, I think I’ve given everything there’. I can’t get ahead of my station at all. I’m just here to try and affect this period.”