Lampard seeks return to form as Derby County host Norwich

Frank Lampard expects a tough test from Norwich on Wednesday.
Frank Lampard expects a tough test from Norwich on Wednesday.

Frank Lampard says he's keen for last Saturday's defeat at Bolton to be merely a blip as Derby County prepare to host Norwich on Wednesday night.

The Rams had been in good form prior to Saturday's 1-0 loss, with wins against Brentford and Manchester United to their name in the previous seven days.

And Lampard says that, unlike the defeats at Millwall and Rotherham earlier in the season, there were enough positive signs at Bolton to mean he's not panicking about the prospect of a drop in form.

He said: “This was different to Millwall and Rotherham in that we didn’t know what to expect there and didn’t cope with it, whereas at Bolton we controlled the game, they scored against the run of play and with 75 per cent of the possession and lots of shots I can’t fault the lads’ efforts to try and get back into the game and their commitment to the cause. The quality just wasn’t there and we weren’t as clinical where it mattered as we had in the Brentford and Man Utd games.

“But I’m not as bothered about the defeat as I was the Millwall and Rotherham so it shouldn’t break our stride. We had a great week before that so we just need to keep on the same path – this is new for all of us and days like that will happen.

“Playing the way we play, it’s difficult to unlock defences once they want to sit back and defend but we have to get back to all the plus points and knock out the moments of inconsistency because in the Championship you get punished.”

Lampard expects a tough test from Norwich who have won four of their last five league games.

He said: "They’re in great form so will be confident coming to Pride Park, as Brentford were, but if we can bring the energy and quality to our game and do what we do well then we’ll have every chance against a side with good players, a good manager and who try and play good football should mean an entertaining game.”

Lampard added that the Carabao Cup fourth round draw which sees him prepare to take the Rams to Chelsea, the club where he is regarded as a legend, was one that he was delighted to see come up.

The win over Manchester United in the last round had many predicting a trip to Stamford Bridge was written in the stars, and so it proved.

He said: "It’s a great draw for the club for many reasons and an emotional one for myself, Jody Morris and Chris Jones. We were in the car together on the way back from Bolton when the draw was being made and we couldn't believe it.

“I’m pleased but also delighted for the players because it’s another chance to reproduce what we did at Old Trafford.

“It will be a big ask because big teams can take games away from you no matter how well you play, but I want us to go there and play with confidence again and a belief in ourselves. There are a few games before that but it’s a nice carrot waiting for the squad at the end of the month.

“I suppose it was written in the stars I’d go back. For what Chelsea means to me given my career there, and what Derby means to me now given all my efforts are focused here, I’m delighted to go back there on a personal level.”