Jose Mourinho has pieced together “a great Manchester United team”, according to Frank Lampard, with the Red Devils still “one of the best teams in the Premier League”.
The man in charge at Old Trafford finds himself back under the microscope following a disappointing home draw with Wolves on Saturday.
Pressure had started to ease on the Portuguese following a three-match winning run, but stalemate against newly-promoted opposition has seen more uncomfortable questions asked.
Mourinho and United will have the chance to get back on track in midweek when their focus shifts to Carabao Cup competition, with Lampard’s Derby side due at the Theatre of Dreams.
The former England international, who spent several years working under Mourinho at Chelsea, believes the Rams will be facing one of the finest teams in the country, regardless of what recent inconsistent form may suggest.
He told reporters ahead of a third round clash with the Red Devils: “We know what we're coming up against. A great Manchester United team that's been put together.
“The fact we're on telly against one of the best teams in the Premier League is a challenge for us.
“It's going to be a very tough ask.
“What we can't do is go there and walk away and say we should've done this or that. We have to give everything and make sure it doesn't pass you by.
“Whether we can win or not is a very tough order, but we need to have our fans coming away proud of the team.”
During his distinguished playing career, Lampard lifted a number of major honours while working under Mourinho – including the Premier League title.
He remains both a man and coach that he holds in the highest regard, with the pair looking forward to being reunited on the touchline on Tuesday.
Lampard added: “I’m looking forward to seeing him.
“On a personal level, he was a manager who was very influential on my career.
“We've spoken in the last 24 hours to congratulate me but it was very brief but we talked family.
“I learned a lot from him and I appreciate it.”