Hazard unsurprised by Lampard start

Frank Lampard has told his Chelsea players that they have set the standard for the rest of the season after their 1-0 win at Ajax in the Champions League.

Real Madrid playmaker Eden Hazard is adamant he has not been surprised by the start Frank Lampard has made as Chelsea manager.

Having almost taken Derby County up into the Premier League, Lampard was handed the Chelsea job following the departure of Maurizio Sarri.

In just his second season in management, Lampard has taken Chelsea up to third place in the table as they look ahead to their next outing against Manchester City on Saturday.

Belgium international Hazard decided to end his time in west London over the summer and did not get the opportunity to work under the new Blues boss.

When asked if he was surprised by the start Lampard has made in the dugout at Stamford Bridge, Hazard said: “No, not at all. I know Frank as a player, not as a manager, but he’s a great guy. He’s showed already after four months that he can be one of the best managers in the world.

“The good thing is that they are playing with young players, young English players. For England it’s good, for Chelsea it’s good. They are lucky to have young players with quality.”

Hazard added: “I still have good friends there. I follow them all the time. They are winning at the moment so I’m just happy for them.”

All has not gone according to plan so far for Hazard in Spain, with the Belgian seemingly struggling to get up to speed with life at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, the in-form Blues have a one-point advantage over Premier League champions Manchester City ahead of their encounter at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.

Chelsea find themselves eight points behind frontrunners Liverpool and victory over the Citizens on Saturday would be a real boost to Lampard’s hopes of entering the title race.