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Lampard: It was tough under Benitez

Frank Lampard has admitted that Rafael Benitez’s tenure at Chelsea was difficult for everyone at the club.

Benitez struggled to gain acceptance from the Chelsea fans when he was appointed interim manager by Roman Abramovich in November.

However, under his leadership the club secured UEFA Champions League football with a third-place finish in the Premier League and also won the UEFA Europa League with a 2-1 victory over Benfica in Amsterdam.

Despite the difficulties, Lampard, who recently signed a new one-year deal, praised the Spaniard for his work in tough conditions.

“He’s a professional bloke,” he told The Sun. “He prepared very well for games.

“And
it was a difficult situation for him as well. As interim manager it was
always going to be quite difficult because we all knew it was only to
the end of the season.

“So there was no planning, no long-term
relationships were going to be built. So, in that respect, he did a good
job because we got the end result — success.”

However, the midfielder did admit that he never built a close relationship with the former Liverpool boss during his six months in charge due to his management style.

“There are certain managers you build relationships with and feel closer to,” he continued. “He’s not that kind of bloke.

“Other managers draw a bit of a line and keep it that way. Rafa’s more like that. He was not really the sort of manager you could sit and talk with.

“He’s not a manager who goes round putting his arm around every player — and I’m not saying that’s wrong. There are a lot of managers like that, Fabio Capello was like that with England.”

One manager that Lampard did build a close relationship with was Jose Mourinho and the 34-year-old is hopeful that the former Real Madrid will return to Stamford Bridge next season after it was revealed he will be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Jose Mourinho’s the best manager I’ve worked with, I hope he comes,” he said.
Wed 22 May, 2013
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