Frank Lampard knows he could ruin a Chelsea legacy built up over 13 years as a player if he messes up in management.
But the Blues boss is determined to make a success of it – even though he admits it is twice as tough as lacing up his boots for the club ever was.
Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League in a glittering playing career at Stamford Bridge, becoming the club’s record goalscorer.
But the pressure is on the 42-year-old to return the club to the top after owner Roman Abramovich backed him with a big summer transfer splurge.
And Lampard knows that if he fails, he will put his status as a Chelsea legend well and truly at risk.
The former England midfielder said: “I can be really open that playing 13 years at the club helped me get the job.
“I had to put my ego at the door a bit and say that I might ruin what I achieved in 13 years to a degree – because if it doesn't go well, I will be judged harshly and quickly.
“I am so driven personally that my biggest fear is myself. If I try to pull the wool over your eyes as Chelsea manager, it's not going to work.
My football career put me in a decent position. So if that job is taken away from me, then I think that if I have done the best I can, I will be pretty happy."
Chelsea made a stuttering start to the campaign as Lampard tried to integrate so many new signings into his expensively-assembled squad.
But they are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since they crashed out of the Carabao Cup on penalties at Tottenham, winning their last four in a row.
Lampard admits to making “a lot of mistakes” as he took his first steps in management at Derby County before taking over at Chelsea in July 2019.
But even though he insists being a manager is a bigger challenge than he ever faced in his playing career, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Speaking to Eddie Hearn's No Passion No Point podcast on BBC Sounds, Lampard said: "I realise now it's much harder than playing in terms of it being consuming.
"The life of a manager is 25 people in the squad, staff in the building, problems with different departments. It's so far removed.
"You work for your coaching badges. Then when you start doing it, you have to fail, get better, and have relationships with people you never had as a player.
“A manager gets 50 problems a day. It's much more consuming but I love it and couldn't live without it."
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