Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has credited his recent form to former manager Roberto Di Matteo.
Di Matteo, who guided the west London club to a Champions League and FA Cup double last year, opted to utilise the veteran English footballer in a deeper position, with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard taking on the central function.
Despite pushing himself back, Lampard has enjoyed stupendous success this term, pocketing 14 goals in all competitions, including his scalp against West Ham United last week which took his Chelsea goal tally to 200.
The inventive playmaker is now just three goals shy of breaking Bobby Tambling’s record of all-time leading goal-scorer at Chelsea.
Di Matteo was sacked by Blues owner Roman Abramovich, following the club’s poor run in November, a decision which was as unpopular with the players and the fans as it was surprising.
Though the club’s state of affairs are now run by Rafa Benitez, Lampard credited his current form to his former boss, pointing out that he had been more effective in his new position.
He told reporters: "With experience you can play the deeper role and try to arrive at just the right time, a bit less often but with a bit more effect.
"I think I probably learned to play this way when Di Matteo came in in the run-up to the Champions League final. I've developed a bit more and now I'm able to play deeper and still arrive in the area."
Lampard was named in the England squad by national manager Roy Hodgson for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
The 34-year-old has 94 international caps to his name and is eying another milestone in his illustrious career, by joining the elite club of those who have represented the Three Lions in more than 100 games.
"I'm really enjoying the England thing," said Lampard. "You really appreciate it as you get older every time you play for them.
"I'm enjoying being a part of it. It's a very happy, comfortable squad with Roy in charge.
"It's 94 (caps). But six caps in international football is still a relatively long way. So I'll take it cap by cap."
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