Frank Lampard admits he has sympathy for Jose Mourinho’s current struggles at Manchester United.
United suffered their third league defeat of the season on Saturday to fall nine points behind leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.
That followed United’s exit from the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, at the hands of Lampard’s Derby side, who won on penalties at Old Trafford following a 2-2 draw.
The United boss was forced to answer questions about his job security on Monday and Lampard, who won two Premier League titles under Mourinho at Chelsea, feels for his former manager.
“Everyone knows my feelings for Jose Mourinho as a manager,” Lampard said. “It is a tough moment. It is a moment that we will all have, that I will have at times, that every manager has.
“I have heard all his interviews lately. He is a big boy. He will get about doing his job. Of course I feel for him. They are not winning games and they want to be – it is Manchester United.
“In terms of players, it can be difficult. You need buy-in from your players and you need sometimes the right message to be coming out. I thought that as a player and I think it even more as a manager.
“And you need complete work rate on the pitch. I am not talking about individuals here, I am saying that is what you need.”
Lampard was speaking ahead of the visit of Norwich City to Pride Park Stadium on Wednesday night.
Norwich come into the game in good form, with five consecutive victories in all competitions.
Daniel Farke’s side sit one point and four places above Derby – who are ninth – in the Championship table and their success comes as no surprise to Lampard.
“They have a good manager who wants to play the right way and wants to play good football,” Lampard said.
“I saw them last year playing against Chelsea in the cup and I thought they handled themselves brilliantly. They nearly went through and maybe should have gone through.
“So, I know the way they want to play. They are going to give us a real tough challenge and they are going to come with confidence.
“But we are also confident, particularly at home with the way we have been playing recently. So I would like to think it bodes for a good game.”