Lampard praise for Di Matteo despite substitute role

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has praised Blues interim manager Roberto Di Matteo for his impact since replacing Andre Villas-Boas despite spending more time on the substitutes bench, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Lampard was left out of the starting XI for Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Benfica but insists he had no problem with the demotion. A sticking point between Lampard and former manager Villas-Boas was believed to be the Portuguese’s handling of similar situations, notes the Telegraph, and Lampard has revealed that Di Matteo’s man management made the disappointment easier to deal with.

The England international said: “I spoke with Robbie before the game and certainly had no issue with it. It is fair to say [Di Matteo has a different approach to Villas-Boas].

Lampard may not start in the return leg at Stamford Bridge either, the Telegraph reveals, although the possible unavailability of Raul Meireles, who is struggling with a knee injury, could open the door for the Chelsea vice-captain. Di Matteo is also facing the prospect of being without striker Didier Drogba, who has a toe injury, and centre-back David Luiz, who picked up an injury against Aston Villa.

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