Jose Mourinho admitted he felt “sad” for Frank Lampard after the axe fell on him at Chelsea – but insists he must have always known what was coming when deciding to become a manager.
Blues legend Lampard was jettisoned on Monday after 18 months in charge at Stamford Bridge.
With the axe falling, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich gave two reasons why he was left with little choice.
Lampard won 44 of his 84 games at the helm and guided them into the Champions League by finishing fourth last term.
Things began well this season, with six wins and four draws in their first 11 games. However, five defeats in eight matches sees the west Londoners ninth in the Premier League standings.
Tottenham boss Mourinho has had two spells himself as Chelsea boss and was fired both times. He also managed Lampard at Stamford Bridge and had some sympathy for his close friend.
“I am always sad when a colleague loses his job,” Mourinho said.
“Frank is not just a colleague, he is an important person in my career, so I feel sorry he did (get sacked).
“But it is the brutality of football, especially modern football. When you become a manager you know that sooner or later it is going to happen to you.”
Rio Ferdinand cites raised expectations on Lampard
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand said the money spent on new players had increased expectation too quickly and that had been unfair on Lampard.
“It’s taken away the reality,” Ferdinand added. “When you invest and recruit that amount of players for that amount of money it brings extra pressure. But you cannot expect all of those players to hit the ground running.
“They need time to adjust, to fit into the culture of the football club, new settings, new country etc.
“To have expected an immediate response from these players and an immediate jump to being a title-challenging team. I don’t think that’s realistic.”