Frank Lampard showed the first signs he is cracking under the pressures of football management by launching an astonishing rant at the ‘negative nannies’ he feels are bringing Derby down.
The Rams had been on a poor run of form that had seen their promotion hopes fade and the first question marks being placed on Lampard’s managerial credentials.
However, they were able to bounce back from their recent struggles – including Saturday’s 4-0 hammering at Aston Villa – with a 2-1 victory over Wigan on Tuesday, helped in no small part by a quite-extraordinary equaliser by Mason Bennett.
The win leaves the Rams just outside the play-off places, but level on points with sixth-placed Bristol City.
But Lampard – last month linked with a move back to Chelsea – could not resist the chance to tear into his Derby colleagues, suggesting some of their negative energy is bringing the club down.
“This club absolutely wallows in doom and gloom in different departments,” the Chelsea legend, 40, said.
“There are some negative people around , very close around the club, that shouldn’t be like that.
“How quickly some people are doom merchants saying we are finished. I am not going to name names.
“I am talking about people who are in and around the club who all of a sudden go negative straight away.
“It is very easy if you are in and around the place to just be negative and it can’t be the way.
“It is trying to make sure as a squad and a staff that we don’t suck that in too much.
“I don’t care, they are not going to come in my dressing room with the lads but it is important to show the positive nature of the players on the pitch and the fans as a whole.
“If there are individuals who are doom and gloom then we will try and prove them all wrong.”
Derby’s recent history – the club have missed out on promotion despite promising positions in four of the last five years – suggests late wobbles are the norm, but Lampard insists he wants to buck the trend.
“I know and understand recent history says at Derby they start well and then don’t do so well in this month and that month,” he said.
“But as a team and as a staff we have to be the ones that even when it is tough, we have to show we are still in it and we are still fighting.
“We actually have a young team, a transitional team where we are trying to bring the age down where we have five major injuries recently across our midfield , three long term injuries at the club and then people want to talk or expect we are going to win every week or be rosy, it doesn’t work that way.
“I don’t expect our fans to come away from Villa Park at the weekend and go: ‘that was great , that was a fantastic performance’.
“But we are a football club that is very evident we are fighting with lots of injuries and younger players and players who have been fighting here for a long time to get promoted and it hasn’t quite happened, and are in the last years of their contracts and all these things.”
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