Soccer: Chelsea's Lampard hoping to bid farewell on a high

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Chelsea - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - May 25, 2023 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta after the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington

Although Frank Lampard was unable to turn around Chelsea's fortunes in a dismal campaign, the manager expressed hopes of ending his second stint in charge of the club on a positive note in their Premier League clash against Newcastle United.

Interim manager Lampard was appointed on a short-term deal in April but failed to stop the rot at Chelsea, who are languishing in 12th place in the standings.

The London club have lost eight of their 10 matches under Lampard and will end this season without silverware despite their new U.S. owners' huge spending on new players.

Sunday's home game against fourth-placed Newcastle could be Lampard's last at Stamford Bridge, where he was adored by Chelsea fans as the heart and soul of the club's midfield during a trophy-laden 13 years as a player - before a less successful first spell as manager from 2019-2021.

"I don't want this to sound corny but I don't feel like it is a goodbye. I appreciate it, it will be the end of season and end of my time back but normally when you leave a club you don’t have a hurrah as a manager," Lampard told reporters.

"You are in one day out the next and that's fine... I'm quite calm about it and not too nostalgic about it but certainly do appreciate the fans support on Sunday.

"More than anything I would love to give them a performance to take away for the summer and feel a bit more positive about for sure."

British media have reported that Chelsea have reached an agreement to appoint former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager from next season.

Asked if his successor would be coming into the toughest job a Chelsea manager has faced in the last 20 years, Lampard said: "It's a good headline but I don't know.

"It remains to be seen, I can't jump into the future. I think it is a fantastic job because it is the Chelsea job... I enjoyed the process and I enjoyed coming in and I wish the new manager well. I don't know... it's his problem I guess – is that the headline you wanted?"

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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