Frank Lampard looks like he is about to take his first steps into management with Derby.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the things on the 39-year-old’s potential to do list should he take over at Pride Park.
Redress the balance in the squad
Gary Rowett left an ageing group of players when he departed for Stoke last week. Seven of the team that started the second leg of the play-off semi-final defeat at Fulham were aged 30 or older. The Derby squad also appears to be awash with midfielders who are very much alike. The Rams are missing the kind of player who can turn a game or unlock a defence on a regular basis.
Cut Derby’s cloth accordingly
Chairman Mel Morris said towards the end of the season that there would be no significant investment this summer should Derby fail to win promotion as the club needs to get costs under control. That could see players sold and Lampard working with a smaller squad, with Morris keen to see Derby develop more of its own young players.
Decisions on loan players
Craig Bryson (Cardiff), Jacob Butterfield (Sheffield Wednesday) and Nick Blackman (Maccabi Tel Aviv) spent all of last season away from Pride Park on loan at other clubs and return with 12 months remaining on their contracts. Chris Martin was allowed to spend the second half of the campaign on loan at Reading and his contract runs until 2020. It seems the quartet were not in Rowett’s plans for the future but Lampard will have to look at them and decide if he can use them next season.
Settle on a formation
Lampard will have his own ideas about the way he wants his team to play. Rowett set his team up in 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and even 3-4-2-1 last season so Lampard knows Derby can be flexible and having several different ways of playing will be crucial over what is a long 46-game slog in the Championship.