FRANK LAMPARD admits he ‘loved’ Roman Abramovich's words about him after he was axed by Chelsea in January.
And the 42-year-old Stamford Bridge legend also hailed defender Reece James for his ‘incredible message’ to him following his exit.
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Lampard took charge of the Blues, the club he is all-time top goalscorer for, back in 2019 and led them to a fourth-placed finish and the FA Cup Final in his first season in charge.
Following a rocky spell this term, he was ruthlessly sacked by owner Abramovich four months ago and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
After the difficult decision, the Russian billionaire publicly hailed Lampard for his efforts in an open statement that the latter admits he ‘loved’ and he insisted he holds no grudges.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “I loved that. I could never sit here and say I have anything but appreciation for what he did for my career.
“I was disappointed because I felt we could change things. I saw games coming up as opportunities to get points.
“Your pride takes a hit. There is no doubt about it. That's human.
“But with reflection, I would have been absolutely naive to think it would be any different for myself than it had been for managers in the past.
“History says Chelsea make changes and sometimes they have real success off the back of it.
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“It was never for me to go against their model. I have full appreciation to Roman for the opportunity. I can only look forward.”
When asked whether he had the opportunity to say goodbye to any of the Chelsea squad, he also revealed how one of their youngsters he had given an opportunity to left him humbled.
Lampard added: “The minute the news came out, there were 10 photographers plotted up over the road from where we live, so it wasn't the easiest to leave the house.
“But I got incredible messages from some of the biggest names in football and I got emotional messages from some of the players.
“I remember reading Reece James's one. Reece isn't a man of many words but he wrote the most incredible message.
“I live near the stadium. For the first week I kept my head down, staying home, spending time with the family.
“But the minute I got out, there were cabbies and Chelsea fans in the streets who gave me a real lift because of how they were with me.”
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