Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard says former boss Carlo Ancelotti has been one of the biggest managerial influences on his career.
Lampard and Ancelotti, who won the league and cup double together in 2010 at Stamford Bridge, go head to head as opposing managers on Saturday night when Chelsea travel to Everton.
The Chelsea boss said he would “never try and take something off someone” when asked what he learned from Ancelotti but was quick to applaud the Italian for the impact he had on Lampard both on and off the pitch.
“I’ve been influenced by people and I was influenced by him as a player and as a man at the time,” said Lampard.
“He’s right at the top when I speak about the managers I’ve worked with – his huge success he has had in his career, working at various clubs and one-to-one I found him a great coach and a great man.
“As I say, he influenced me and I very much at all times look forward to seeing him and speaking to him.”
Chelsea are third in the Premier League heading into this weekend’s fixtures after going nine games unbeaten since losing 2-0 to Liverpool in September, with only two points separating themselves and leaders Tottenham.
Lampard is reluctant to get involved in title race talk in December but says Chelsea are “happy where we are”.
“I don’t know where I would put Chelsea in the title race,” he said.
“I know that there’s a long way to go. I don’t think it matters too much the rhetoric. Jose Mourinho gets asked about it a lot, I get asked two or three times a week and you have to give an answer.
“I think with Tottenham they have fantastic players and they’re a really strong squad. The words are not that important at this point and for us at Chelsea, it’s about how much we keep working and understanding. The consistency over a season is what wins titles not matches until the middle of December.”