sport news Frank Lampard reveals all to Jamie Redknapp on life as Chelsea manager

Frank Lampard, dripping with sweat, has just returned from his daily 45-minute post-training run around Chelsea's complex at Cobham with his assistants, Jody Morris and Chris Jones.

Waiting for him in reception is his cousin and Sportsmail columnist Jamie Redknapp.

These two go way back, from garden kickabouts, to celebrating a 19th birthday in Ayia Napa, to lining up for England together. But busy schedules make catch-ups difficult nowadays. 

Frank Lampard reveals all on life at Chelsea as he reflects on his first seven months in charge

Frank Lampard reveals all on life at Chelsea as he reflects on his first seven months in charge

Lampard spoke to his cousin Jamie Redknapp about the challenges of being a top flight boss

Lampard spoke to his cousin Jamie Redknapp about the challenges of being a top flight boss

Lampard says managing Chelsea is 'consuming' and 'hard' but admits he's 'loving' challenge

Lampard says managing Chelsea is 'consuming' and 'hard' but admits he's 'loving' challenge

'Frankie!' says our man as they embrace. 

Over lunch in the players' canteen, then a cuppa in his office, Lampard opens up on Chelsea, playing the kids, his own upbringing, 'real' managers versus 'fake' ones, Europe and Jose Mourinho.

Oh, and the small matter of facing , Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich in the next fortnight. Sportsmail's Kieran Gill sat in on the family reunion.

JAMIE REDKNAPP: Look around this office, Frank. You could have become a pundit and judged other people's decisions. Instead you're here, calling the shots as manager of . Why?

FRANK LAMPARD: I've got that drive. It's consuming, and it's hard. But am I enjoying it? I'm loving it. Derby was a strange one. I'd been flirting with coaching, knowing I wanted to do it but at the same time taking a breath. Then your dad (Harry Redknapp) rang, because of his connection with Mel Morris (the Derby owner).

I went to a meeting with Mel, quite tentative to be honest. Do I want this now? Is it right for me, for my family, career-wise? Could this be dangerous?

I knew I wanted to coach, but the pathway — and I realise that sounds corny — just appeared. I hope your dad knows the respect I have. Because whatever I do now in management, I will owe him and Mel a lot.

Lampard says he was in two minds about taking his first managerial job at Derby County

Lampard says he was in two minds about taking his first managerial job at Derby County

The 41-year-old says he's indebted to Derby chairman Mel Morris for giving him a chance

The 41-year-old says he's indebted to Derby chairman Mel Morris for giving him a chance

JR: Yeah but you stole that job off me, mate! So that went well, then this opportunity comes along. Were you hesitant? Nervous? Or did you not even think twice?

FL: Hesitant and nervous are definitely words I'd use, but I wanted it badly too. 

I do read, I do listen and I do take advice, and there were people telling me, "Don't touch it", or "It's too soon". I understood all the arguments.

But the opportunity and what it meant to me as a former player who had been here for 13 years, I made the decision with my heart. My heart is Chelsea and I would be lying if I said when I took up management I didn't envisage being Chelsea manager some day. My head also looked at it and told me: "It's early, but this is what I want to do."

When I added everything up, it was a clear decision.

The former Chelsea midfielder says his love for the club meant he couldn't turn down the job

The former Chelsea midfielder says his love for the club meant he couldn't turn down the job

Lampard says his playing achievements won't be forgotten even if his reign isn't a success

Lampard says his playing achievements won't be forgotten even if his reign isn't a success 

JR: Was there a sense of you putting your reputation at risk?

FL: As I got older, I cared less about that legacy. I don't mean to palm it off, I mean it in the opposite way. What I did in my career as a player, I will never lose that. I will never lose the Champions League, the team-mates, the fans, the celebrations. 

If some fans who sat through that and through this want to commentate in that way, or if new fans want to look at me only as a manager, so be it. What does it really matter? Otherwise I could have stayed away. But why would I stay away? In case it goes bad?

The story of Chelsea's season has been Lampard's use of kids, from Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount to Reece James and Tammy Abraham. 

When Lampard arrived, the club were operating under a transfer embargo and had seen Eden Hazard leave for . Only Norwich have handed more Premier League minutes to players aged 21 or younger.

JR: Did you feel forced into using the kids?

FL: Would Mason have gone on loan again this year? Possibly. Probably. Tomori definitely would. It was my decision to keep Tomori because I'd worked with him at Derby and loved his attitude.

Lampard has hailed the attitude of Fikayo Tomori and says it was his choice not to loan him out

Lampard has hailed the attitude of Fikayo Tomori and says it was his choice not to loan him out

Tammy Abraham's performance have justified his inclusion, according to the Chelsea boss

Tammy Abraham's performance have justified his inclusion, according to the Chelsea boss

Lampard says youth coaches deserved credit for Chelsea's youth-inspired win at Wolves

Lampard says youth coaches deserved credit for Chelsea's youth-inspired win at Wolves 

I don't have to play Tammy — he has to show me why, of our three strikers, he deserves it. 

The ban forced my hand slightly but I knew the fans wanted to see young players. I knew how much the academy put into these players.

I'm not even talking about Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne — you mention them and you get an absolute headline. But there have been other academy players over the last 10 years who might have come through quicker.

The sweat, the tears, the hours that go into those prospects. Neil Bath and Jim Fraser, who have run the academy for years, put so much into it. 

The day we beat Wolves 5-2, Tomori got the first, Tammy scores three, then Mason scores. You want to ring them up and go, "Can we have a few pints tonight, lads?"

Lampard says he will continue giving youth a chance but not to the detriment of results

Lampard says he will continue giving youth a chance but not to the detriment of results

JR: And a few more players, I bet! You've got to be brave to use kids though.

FL: I get that but there have been times when younger players could have got chances. I've got Billy Gilmour sitting on the bench. If we're 3-0 up, I'm bringing Billy on.

When we were leading at Hull in the FA Cup, I brought Billy on.

Only by training daily with us, coming on in games, playing against in the Carabao Cup, do you then gain their confidence.

This isn't an experiment of how many academy players can I get in. I know there has been talent coming through that could have got a chance. I'm going to try to do that but it can't be to the detriment of results. I know that. I'm not stupid.

Despite Chelsea's transfer ban being lifted, no signings were made last month, with a move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani falling through. 

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Money for players will be made available in the summer — the fee for Hazard from Real can rise to £150million — and attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech from Ajax is on his way. 

Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned to full

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