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‘Chelsea supporters could get impatient’ – Harris warns Lampard’s youth revolution needs to hit the ground running

3:46 am AEST 19/6/19
Frank Lampard, Derby County
The former Blue is concerned that the club’s fan-base could become restless if the Derby manager joins and does not deliver immediate success

Former Chelsea defender Ron Harris believes that while the Chelsea board may give Frank Lampard time if he is appointed, the club’s supporters may not be so patient.

Lampard led Derby County to a sixth-placed finish in the Championship, and subsequently the play-off final, last season, only to fall short at the final hurdle against Aston Villa.

Speculation is growing that the Blues legend will be the man to fill the void left by Juventus-bound Maurizio Sarri and guide the club through a period in which a transfer ban will force them to turn to their horde of young players on loan.

Star man Eden Hazard has left for Real Madrid, and new signing Christian Pulisic, along with the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori – who Lampard worked with last season – will be required to step up and boost a depleted squad.

However, Harris feels that Lampard may need to deliver instant success if he is to prove as popular with the fans as a manager as he did as a player, with Sarri managing to finish third and win the Europa League – as well as reaching the Carabao Cup final – despite his unpopularity with supporters.

"If you look at the top-class managers who have been there, they don’t seem to last more than two years," Harris told Love Sport Radio.

"[But] if Frank did decide to come, I think things would change a little bit and they would give him some time, especially if the transfer embargo comes into force.

"The question is would [Chelsea supporters] be happy if it takes two or three years to bring these [young] fellas through?

"No disrespect to the players out on loan, there is a big, big difference between playing in the lower divisions and having to come and play in the Premiership.

"As much as some of the lads have done ever so well at Derby on loan, I think it is a different ball game.

"I’m not knocking sides in the lower divisions, but there are half a dozen tremendous sides in the Premiership. Sometimes supporters can get very impatient."