Xenia Sports – London
Frank Lampard hopes to extend his Chelsea contract to become part of the “long-term plan” at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer, Lampard returned to west London as manager last summer and steered the Blues to Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final in his maiden campaign.
The 42-year-old has overseen a £220million squad rebuild that now has Chelsea boasting a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
And Lampard has admitted he would relish the chance to add to the 18 months left on his current Chelsea contract.
“In terms of my contract, it seems to have flown by, the time I’ve been here,” said Lampard.
“It’s right I’ve got 18 months left and I felt it when I came to the club, I knew there were a lot of circumstances at the beginning that were going to make last year transitional and maybe slightly difficult.
“I felt like I took the job in a different position to most recent Chelsea managers. I think people sympathize with that as well and I think it was a success.
“Now I feel like I would love to be part of the long-term plan here.
“The signings we made in the summer, other than probably Thiago Silva particularly, were signings for now and the future. Players that are going to progress and who will mature, and, of course, I would love to be part of that.
“Of course, that’s the club’s decision and the owner’s decision first and foremost, so I have to get on with the short-term which starts with Leeds.
“But I don’t think anybody would expect me to say anything else.
“I’m a lucky man to be managing the club that I love and is my life. So of course, I want to make a success of it and be here as long as I can.”
Lampard’s arrival at Chelsea last summer coincided with the club appointing his former team-mate Petr Cech to the Stamford Bridge board.
Cech’s role as a technical director has generated far greater symmetry between coaching staff and board.
Lampard sees that relationship as a genuine strength for the Blues but insisted only owner Roman Abramovich has the right to create a scenario where one manager could create a dynasty.
Asked if he is the right man to stay at Chelsea’s helm for the better part of a generation, Lampard replied: “That will only ever be decided by the owner and the only thing I can do is look at what’s in front of me and at the minute – well since I came in here actually – the relationship I have with Petr has been a huge strength for me because I get on so well with him and I think, hopefully, we work well together.
“The communication I have with (director) Marina Granovskaia is very regular.
“I try and do all the things I can for the club, for the best of the club on and off the pitch and I can’t get much further than that.
“I said before I would love to do this job as long as possible but I’m also very aware that that is results-based.
“At the minute, I think we’re working towards something and people are getting very excited and mentioning us being in a title race this year.
“I always saw it as a longer plan than that and it might take until next year for us to really challenge, because of the signings, because of the bedding-in process.
“What we’re doing at the moment, it’s really getting people excited, but I know we need to be consistent over the course of the season.
“I’m genuinely not thinking too much about my future. I’m just thinking about game to game at the minute.
“I guess the future will look after itself either way after that.”
Lampard’s former Chelsea team-mate Branislav Ivanovic has this week tipped the Blues boss as a future England manager.
While Lampard admitted he would one day relish a chance to coach England, he insisted he remains solely focused on trying to build a long-term future at Chelsea.
“Firstly, I appreciate Brana’s words, he’s a good friend so I appreciate the positive words in there,” said Lampard.
“It’s certainly not anything that’s on my short-term radar. But I’m very patriotic, I loved playing for my country but, at the moment, I’m focused on trying to do my best here in a long-term way is all I can think about.
“But I appreciate it and if there was ever an opportunity, later down the line, it’s something I would certainly look at but you should never get too far down the line in this job.”