Frank Lampard reveals his Chelsea superstitions

Frank Lampard fears failing to follow simple personal rituals such as walking his dog at a specific time can have a negative impact on Chelsea’s results.

Blues boss Lampard has been superstitious since his playing days and sticks closely to routine.

His customs include spending a precise amount of time exercising and adhering to a schedule when taking out his pet dog, Minnie.

While he accepts it is irrational, the 41-year-old, whose side host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, feels changing his habits may adversely affect his team’s fortunes.

Asked what superstitions he has as a manager, Lampard replied: “Only routines, and only routines about walking the dog, or what time I leave, or maybe what boots I wear in training, or little bits and bobs.

“I walk the dog at certain times and on certain days. I will walk her at a certain time, for a certain route.

“I take her out in the morning. I go out early before I leave, I take her down to the local coffee shop, get my takeaway coffee, walk around, pick up her s***, put it in the bin, walk her home then go to training.

“I like going to the gym as well – that’s another one of my superstitions. I have to do exactly the same amount of time on the bike – 50 minutes – or the exact route that I run. Things like that.

“If I don’t do them, then I can feel like, ridiculously, it might have an effect on results.”

Lampard’s methods are currently paying dividends. He was on Friday crowned Premier League manager of the month on the back of five successive top-flight victories, three of which came in October.

The Blues begin the weekend in fourth position but, depending on results, could end it second only to early leaders Liverpool.

“If it was something that was painful I would probably try and get rid of it, but it actually fits nicely,” continued Lampard.

“I like going to the gym, I like walking the dog, I like eating pasta as a pre-match meal, so I stick with certain things.

“We are all different, and I don’t completely rely on it. I joke a little bit, but I think it shows how much you want to do well and win sometimes, whether it has an effect or not.

“And I think if that’s in your mindset, that’s not the worst thing, albeit it might become a bit annoying sometimes if you stick to it.”

Chelsea will hand a late fitness test to Mason Mount ahead of the lunchtime meeting with Palace due to an ankle problem suffered in the midweek draw with Ajax, but Ross Barkley is ruled out with a similar issue and fellow midfielder Jorginho is suspended.

Lampard will come up against his former England manager Roy Hodgson when the Eagles make the short journey to west London.

At 72, the vastly-experienced Hodgson is the oldest manager in the top-flight and Lampard, who is the youngest, will be honoured to be in the opposing dugout.

“It’s incredible, his career in management, and I had huge respect as a player when I played for England under him,” said Lampard.

“I loved playing under him in terms of how he was, his man-management, his enthusiasm for the game and now seeing what he’s done at Palace.

“(He’s) an absolute gentleman. Very smart. I have nothing but praise for him and it will be a very nice honour to go up against him as a manager.”

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