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Premier League friendlies: Saints undone by Lampard’s Rams

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Nine Premier League clubs were in action Saturday, none of them at home.

[ MORE: Neymar on diving ]

An ex-PL star, however, thrilled his home fans in a Pride Park debut, facing top flight competition.


Derby County 3-0 Southampton

Frank Lampard is the new Rams’ boss, and his first home match was a win over Premier League competition.

“Lamps” got two goals from Tom Lawrence, and another from Mason Bennett as Saints fell by three. It was Southampton’s first match since returning from a China trip which saw a draw with Schalke and a defeat of Jiangu Suning.

Notts County 1-4 Leicester City

The visitors went down 1-0 before rebounding with vigor to hammer the Magpies behind four different scorers: Demarai Gray, Wes Morgan, Islam Slimani, and Hamza Choudhury.

AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

The Gulls slipped to defeat, going down two before Ollie Norwood converted an Aaron Connelly-won penalty

Oxford United 1-3 Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp and Sullay Kaikai scored as Roy Hodgson‘s men collected an easy enough win away from home.

Real Betis 2-0 Huddersfield Town /  Roy-Weiss Essen 1-0 Huddersfield Town

The Terriers lost a pair of 45-minute friendlies in Belgium.

Elsewhere

Lille 0-0 (4-2, PKs) Everton
Lyon 4-0 Fulham
Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-3 Watford
Preston North End 2-2 West Ham United

Frank Lampard named Derby County manager

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Frank Lampard has taken his first managerial job with the Chelsea and England legend signing a three-year deal as Derby County’s new boss.

[ MORE: Gerrard takes over at Rangers ]

Derby missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18 as they lost in the playoff semifinals over two legs to Fulham and then manager Gary Rowett left the Rams for recently-relegated Stoke City.

Lampard, 39, only retired from playing in 2016 after two seasons at New York City FC. He is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer (211 goals) and won every major trophy available during his 13-year career with the Blues.

Speaking about his arrival at the Midlands club, Lampard is keeping his cards close to his chest as to what he hopes to achieve with the team who were last in the Premier League in 2007/08.

“We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and Academy talent we have at Pride Park,” Lampard said. “This is my first job as a manager but I’ve been working towards this for a long time. I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me.

“I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is – but I’m here to work hard. I’m really looking forward to getting started and to the challenge ahead.”

Lampard has followed in the footsteps of his former international teammate Steven Gerrard, as both of the Premier League legends have left their roles as pundits with BT Sport to step into management with Gerrard taking over at Glasgow Rangers earlier this month.

The former West Ham, Chelsea, Man City and New York City FC midfielder isn’t talking up this role that much but given Derby’s several close calls with promotion to the PL (they’ve lost in the playoffs in three of the last five seasons) the Rams are obviously trying something a little bit different to try and get back to the top-flight.

Yes, Lampard’s playing career was glittering as he ranks fourth all time in the PL in terms of goals and assists, plus third all-time in PL appearances and he won 107 caps for the English national team. Yet this is a whole different ball game.

Hiring Lampard is a gamble for Derby but since his retirement, and during the latter stages of his playing career, he was collecting his coaching badges and always expressed his desire to manage.

Considering his considerable connection to both Chelsea and the City Football Group, Lampard may well aim to bring in plenty of youngsters on loan from those clubs as reports suggest that due to Financial Fair Play restrictions Derby may be forced to sell some of their top performers.

Lampard will now follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Harry Redknapp, as he steps into management with the main aim of clinching promotion to the Premier League.

Report: Frank Lampard close to managing Derby County

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Will Frank Lampard be the man to push Derby County’s consistent promotion push over the line?

The Rams have been in the Championship playoffs thrice over the past five seasons, and finished 8th and 9th in the other two campaigns.

[ MORE: USSF details GM job duties ]

Lampard, 39, was linked with both Ipswich Town and Oxford United in bids to land his first manager’s job.

Sky Sports says Lampard will bring Jody Morris, the architect of Chelsea’s successful U-18 side. Morris, also 39, was Lampard’s teammate at Chelsea early this century.

Derby has had five full-time managers since the start of the 2014-15 season: Steve McClaren (twice), Paul Clement, Darren Walsall, Nigel Pearson, and Gary Rowett.

Report: Lampard leading candidate to succeed Rowett as Derby County boss

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According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is in the pole position to win the Derby County managerial position left vacant after Gary Rowett left to take charge of Stoke City.

Lampard has been linked to a host of lower-league managerial jobs over the past six months, but has either resisted those offers or been passed over for other candidates. In January, Lampard confirmed he had interest from League One side Oxford United, but said he did not feel ready to begin his managerial career.

“I don’t know what the route will be – there are plenty of different routes to become a top manager and I am working there [at Chelsea with the U18s] now to get towards that,” Lampard said in January. “You can’t just step out of something and think you can become a manager, you have to practice a lot. Thankfully Chelsea and the academy are helping me get my hours in and I am watching training at certain Premier League clubs and studying as much as I can so down the line, I hope so [to become a manager one day].”

Just four days ago, Lampard was also mentioned in connection with the open Ipswich Town position, interviewing with the club twice according to Sky Sports.

Now, The Mirror says that Derby County is in the mix for Lampard, and that he is at the top of the club’s shortlist. Lampard, who sits as Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer, has been working as a TV analyst since retiring in 2016 following a short move to Manchester City and a stint with MLS club NYCFC.

Derby has been competitive in the Championship for a number of seasons now, but the Rams have just missed out on Premier League promotion on numerous occasions. They finished sixth this past season but blew a 1-0 semifinal lead to Fulham after the first leg. They also lost in the playoff semifinals to Hull City back in 2016, and lost in the playoff final to QPR back in 2014 after a third-place finish in the table.

Report: Lampard interviews twice with Championship club

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Steven Gerrard‘s longtime England midfield mate Frank Lampard could soon be joining him in a management.

While Gerrard is tasked with rebuilding Rangers’ Scottish title push, Lampard’s reported new gig would entail leading Ipswich Town back to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Sky Sports says Lampard has already interviewed twice with Ipswich Town ownership in a bid to earn his first senior management gig.

Lampard, 39, played for Chelsea, Man City, New York City FC, West Ham United, and Swansea in a sparkling 20-year playing career.

Town finished 12th in the Championship, 15 points back of a playoff spot and 19 clear of relegation.