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Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic hails Lampard return as interim manager

Chelsea central midfielder Mateo Kovacic has hailed the return of Frank Lampard as the club’s interim manager until the end of the season.

The Blues sacked Graham Potter on Sunday following their 2-0 loss to Aston Villa the previous day which left them 11th in the Premier League.

Chelsea are searching for a new permanent manager but want to perform an exhaustive search. As a result, they have many boxes that the new coach must tick.

Lampard will try and salvage a disastrous campaign for the Premier League club in the short term.

Chelsea have spent over £600 million to languish in mid-table while crashing out of two domestic cups.

They only have the Champions League to fight for but have been drawn against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.

However, Kovacic is happy to have Lampard back in the dugout. He had one of his best seasons as a professional under the legendary midfielder in 2019/20.

Kovacic urged his teammates to take responsibility for their poor season and try to end it well.

Kovacic told Sky Sports: “We know him – he was our coach, so it’s good news that he’s back and trying to change our season because it’s not been good, we have to be honest.

“In the end, it’s easier to sack a coach than 30 players, but it is on us – we need to do better and we have to thank Potter who did a good job, but it is not easy with so many changes so it was a tough situation for him.

“We have a short meeting and he’s explained to us what he wants, what his desire is for the rest of the season.

“We have another opportunity to climb up the table as much as we can and we have two beautiful games against Real Madrid, so there is a possibility to finish the season well, and we should take it.

“He’s come with a clear idea of what he expects from us, but it’s still day one and we’ll see what he asks of us on the pitch so it’s difficult to tell how he’s going to be.”

The first game for Lampard is a trip to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chelsea are 14 points off the top four with only 11 games left.

A place in the Champions League is out of reach, but they can aim for the Europa League.

Chelsea will struggle to give their large squad game time and keep them happy if they do not play in Europe.

After the Wolves game, Chelsea will travel to Spain for a daunting tie against Madrid.

The Champions League is their only chance for a title this season, but they will likely be second-best against the reigning champions.

Lampard has a difficult task on his hands. He must defy expectations to help take something from the poor season.

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