Frank Lampard said he and Steven Gerrard have discussed the challenges of being first-time managers ahead of the start of their clubs’ domestic campaigns this weekend.
Lampard, the Chelsea legend, was appointed at Derby County in May, three weeks after former Liverpool standout Gerrard was hired at Rangers.
The former England teammates were hired in the hope that they would breathe fresh life into their stagnant clubs.
“Steven and I were texting back and forth [recently], discussing the mad life of management and how we both see it,” Lampard told the Times. “We are both the same, both enjoying every minute of it. You can’t switch off because you want to do so well, which means giving it every moment of the day.”
Both players served as television analysts after finishing their playing careers, with Lampard working for the BBC during the World Cup.
“There is pressure doing TV work because you want to do the job the best as you can, but when you’ve been competitive for a long time as a player, you miss it,” Lampard said. “Steven and I talked openly about that last year when we were on BT. It draws you back in. For all the 24-hour-a-day talk and the lack of sleep, you can’t help but love it.”
Although Gerrard has already begun his managerial career — Rangers defeated Osijek on aggregate on Thursday to advance to the third qualifying round of the Europa League — Lampard will not oversee a competitive game until Derby visit Reading on Friday.
Derby finished sixth in the league last season, losing to Fulham in the first round of the promotion playoffs, and after letting manager Gary Rowett leave for Stoke City, Lampard and the hierarchy set about remaking the squad. They added Jack Marriott, the 23-year-old who led League One with 27 goals last season, as well as Liverpool’s Harry Wilson and Chelsea’s Mason Mount on loan.
Crafting his team, Lampard said, has been the most satisfying part of his experience to date.
“It’s a job where you can only be absolutely full throttle,” Lampard said. “Hence why I’ve moved straight up to the area. I haven’t had many days off. You can’t afford to. This is a huge club with a passionate fanbase and a great history. I’m certainly fully into this and I want to do the best I can do for this club and be the best manager I can be.”