Frank Lampard says he is delighted with his debut win as Derby manager
Derby boss Frank Lampard says he is remaining cautious despite seeing his side come from behind to beat Reading at the Madejski in his managerial debut.
Lampard’s Rams looked lethargic in the first half in Berkshire and fell behind seven minutes into the second half when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed home Mo Barrow’s left-wing cross, but Mason Mount soon restored parity when his drive escaped the clutches of Royals stopper Vito Mannone.
Though a draw perhaps would have been a fair result for both parties, Tom Lawrence created a near carbon-copy of Bodvarsson’s opener to win the game when he diverted Mason Bennett’s cross from the opposite wing into the back of the net.
And Lampard, who took over from Gary Rowett at Pride Park in late May, admitted that the result was harsh on Paul Clement’s side, who had controlled the game for large periods.
“I thought they were very organised,” he told Sky Sports. “They made it hard for us to find the passes we wanted to find into our attacking players and we were too slow moving the ball; we allowed them to get shape. We were slow moving the ball and when we did try and find passes they could pick them off so we had to have more urgency in our game and we had to find different ways, we had to mix our game up and we did that.
“But when you go one down, when you are trying to change your own game, it is difficult. We got back with a slice of luck with the first goal but sometimes you make your own luck and obviously I feel sorry for Paul Clement and Reading because they probably didn’t deserve to lose that game for sure.”
3:39 Reading 1-2 Derby
Lampard recognised the performance of his side was not up to scratch and noted that urgency was the key element they added after the break, which eventually contributed to the win.
“We needed urgency and maybe we had a lull because we had some good games in pre-season and we are thinking things are going well. You come here and this is a competitive side, teams will make it very tough for you and we made it easy for them by being a bit slow in our play across the back four and I just said we needed more urgency in our game all round.”
The game saw the EFL debut of Chelsea loanee Mason Mount, who impressed on his first outing having spent last season with Vitesse, where he scored 14 goals and registered 10 assists. Lampard brushed off comparisons between himself and the midfielder, but the Blues legend reserved praise for the 19-year-old.
“Yes, I had a few fortunate goals as well! If you don’t shoot, you don’t score – my dad will be happy with that comment because I grew up on that one and midfield players have to. He shifts it to his left foot, his weaker foot, but you have to take chances, you have to shoot from the edge of the box. He does it and he gets some well-deserved luck.
“That’s Mason, he is a goalscoring midfield player. You get him in and around the box and he’ll have shots and he will score goals.”
Lampard also explained how happy he was to return to the professional game full-time, albeit in a different capacity.
“It means three points but for me it’s a fantastic start,” he added. “I’m delighted but I’m fully aware of what needs to be done now. We’ve got a long, long tough season coming up. We’ve got aspirations, we’re in a bit of transition, we’ve got some new players, we’ve got youth in the team so we will have to learn very quickly but what a start.
“We’re keeping our feet on the ground but we have to enjoy those moments. Incredible character from the lads. It was a tough game and a sign of what the Championship is going to be for us this year – it’s the same year in, year out. You come to these places, they are organised, the fight with you and make it hard.
“This is why I came into it. I had a long career as a footballer and I was very fortunate to have that. I’ve had a nice break but you miss the competitive nature. You miss the bug that is football, the mad things that it can do to you, mad things for me there at the end. I have to say I enjoyed it because it was a great result.”