Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo believes Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard will prove himself to be a successful manager if he is given the time.
The two clash on Saturday when Nuno’s team takes on Lampard’s side at Molineux. Lampard, 41, is taking his early steps as a manager after returning to Stamford Bridge to replace Mauricio Sarri after a year in charge of Championship Derby.
So far this season Chelsea have picked up five points from their first four games in the Premier League. The more experienced Nuno is still waiting for his first league win after three draws and a defeat, but has a 100 per cent record from six games in the Europa League.
Regarding Lampard, Nuno said: “What I know and what I see from him is a very nice person. He has good ideas and is trying to put them across. He has a fantastic squad but it will be very tough. It’s a tough competition. Football requires work and time.
“No matter what age you are, managing in the Premier League is very tough and very demanding, but I’m sure that Frank will do well.”
Lampard is a Chelsea great and Nuno acknowledged it must have been difficult for him to turn down the opportunity of managing the club where he was so successful as a player. “Life presents a challenge every day and you have to be ready for it,” he said. “It’s about saying yes or no to it. I always say yes to new challenges.”
Only Norwich with 10 have conceded more goals than Chelsea’s nine so far this campaign. Nuno isn’t misled by the statistics however and knows Chelsea will present one of the stiffest tests of the season.
“We know they’re a fantastic team with very good players,” he added. “We will try to exploit what we can, knowing that it will be a very tough challenge.
“We have to realise we have to be organised, compact, good on the ball and then play the way we want in the way we do things. We have to play our game with the rules, organisation and talent and try to exploit the best moments of talent that our players have.”
Nuno and Lampard briefly crossed paths as players. In September 2004, the Wolves boss kept goal for Porto against a Chelsea side including Lampard in a Champions League tie over two legs. Nuno played in the game in Portugal, when Porto came from behind to win 2-1, but not at Stamford Bridge.
“It was a long time ago,” said Nuno. “We met in the last pre-season against Derby. First he was a fantastic footballer player then he is a very good young manager. For sure he will be successful. I admire him a lot.”