Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Carlo Ancelotti will receive a warm reception from the home supporters when he returns to Stamford Bridge with Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Italian coach Ancelotti won the league and FA Cup double in his first season as Chelsea boss in 2009-10 before he was sacked by the club at the end of the next campaign despite securing a second-placed league finish.
When asked what sort of welcome Ancelotti is likely to get as he prepares to face Chelsea for the first time, Lampard said: “A very good one. (He was) very well-respected in-house and I think the fans respect his period at the club.
“He was a gentleman, a fantastic manger. I loved working with him personally and I think he’ll get a great reception.
“He’s a great man-manager, he was really great on a personal level. He was great at striking relationships with players, he was very good tactically and had a really calm manner.”
Ancelotti said his return to Chelsea will be an “emotional moment” and that he was impressed with his former player Lampard’s steady progress as a manager.
“He’s doing really well this season,” Ancelotti told reporters. “It’s not been an easy season for Chelsea.
“I’m really pleased to meet him after a long time. I don’t know if I can shake his hand, but to meet him will be nice for me.”
Chelsea’s Jorginho picked up his 10th booking of the season against Bournemouth last weekend, and will miss their next two league matches against Everton and Aston Villa.
It could mean teenager Billy Gilmour could retain his place in midfield after his impressive display in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool, which helped Chelsea advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“He had a day off, I’m sure he enjoyed it, he should do,” Lampard added. “His family were here for the game.
“Billy is a very determined young lad, very smart. He’ll understand it was a good game for him, but the hard work starts now.”
Lampard confirmed forward Callum Hudson-Odoi is likely to face an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a another setback, re-injuring his hamstring on his return to training.
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