Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder praised “intelligent” Frank Lampard and said Chelsea can challenge for the Premier League title ahead of Saturday’s clash.
The Blues are still four points off the current league leaders Liverpool but their recent form, with three dominant wins in all competitions, shows positive signs.
However, given the talent in their squad, particularly after their summer spending spree, there have been some questions about whether Lampard is the right manager to lead this Chelsea side.
Wilder disagreed with the critics as he sang Lampard’s praises ahead of Sheffield United’s trip to Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
He told the Press Association (via the Gazzette): “People might talk about inexperience but people always look for an excuse to dig managers out.
“And I can’t see anything else but an unbelievably driven manager in Frank Lampard and intelligent one who had a fabulous playing career and who is taking those experiences into his managerial career.
“The problems he had there in his first season, with the transfer embargo, he did very well but he is now putting his stamp on the team and I expect them to go really well this season.”
Wilder also added that Chelsea can challenge Liverpool and Manchester City who have dominated the league for the last few years.
“I think there’s a few clubs beneath Liverpool and Manchester City who are desperate to close that gap, and there is a gap,” he added.
“Chelsea are certainly the standout one for me in terms of closing the gap between the two teams who have been the best in the country for quite a period now.
“Chelsea are an outstanding side and I believe they are going to close that gap and I think they will be in and around it right the way through.”