Lampard excited by Mourinho return

BY foxsports • January 18, 2010

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is relishing the prospect of former Blues boss Jose Mourinho's impending return to Stamford Bridge.

The Inter Milan boss will face his former club for the first time next month in the second round of the UEFA Champions League before returning to Stamford Bridge in March for the second leg.

Mourinho spent three highly successful years in west London, winning two successive Premier League titles before his acrimonious departure in September 2007.

Chelsea have failed to replicate the success the Portuguese brought to the club since his departure and he is still a popular figure among fans.

Mourinho regards Lampard as one of the best players he has ever worked with and the England midfielder won a host of individual accolades during the 46-year-old's time at the club.

The two still keep in touch and Lampard admits he is looking forward to facing his old mentor.

"I can't wait. I think it was the best draw we could have got really," said Lampard.

"It's a tough draw football-wise but I think for Mourinho to come back to Stamford Bridge will be great for us, great for the fans, great for him and we have to go into it confident.

"We sent each other a few texts talking about the draw after it was made. He was happy with the draw.

"He's got a lot of love for Chelsea. He came back to watch a game recently and I saw him before that and he explained what Chelsea means to him.

"The love goes backwards and forwards with the fans - they love him.

"That's why it's such a romantic game and will be a great game to play in."

Chelsea finished their group campaign undefeated and Lampard is confident the Blues can progress to the quarter-finals for the fourth successive season.

"If we can go into that month playing very well then when that game comes along then I would fancy us very strongly to go through but you never know - Mourinho will be desperate to beat us," he added.

Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti won European football's top prize twice as manager of AC Milan he has made winning the trophy his priority this season.

Chelsea have been knocked out at the semi-final stage on four occasions in the last six years and, having at last managed to get through to the final in 2008, lost on penalties to Manchester United.

Lampard, though, believes this could be the year that Chelsea break their Champions League hoodoo.

"I think it's realistic to think we can win it this year with the squad we have got," said the England midfielder, who last night won the Football Writers' Association's annual award.

"We have been unlucky over the last few years. Particularly last year against Barcelona, we were very unlucky.

"If you do things right at the club, which, I think we are, and we keep working at it then eventually I think we are going to get our year.

"Who knows if it will be this year?

"After all, this is the hardest competition to win in club football but with the quality we have got and if we have a little bit of luck on the way then we can do it."

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