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Lampard calls for long-term manager

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has urged the club to give their next permanent manager time to bring some stability to the club and suggested that Jose Mourinho has "fantastic credentials" to make a return to Stamford Bridge.

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Lampard believes the succession of managers that have come and gone during his 12-year stint for the Blues needs to be stemmed when the next head coach is appointed, as he is calling for a "long term" appointment to lead the new generation at Chelsea when Rafael Benitez's spell as interim boss ends next month.

"It would be nice, whoever comes in, to have a good crack at consistency and staying in the job and I think the fans would be happier if we get a manager who can stay more than half a season," he told The Sun.

"I don't think it's right to talk about any names while Rafa Benitez is in place, but I know people are talking about Jose Mourinho coming back. He's a fantastic manager and there is no doubt about his credentials."

Lampard believes the final month of this campaign could be crucial to the club's long-term future, as he suspects the prospects of hiring a top manager and signing star players this summer rests on Chelsea reclaiming their place among the Champions League elite for next season.

"We are in that critical time now, not just for the manager but us as players and we need to perform individually and as a team and try to make it successful," he said.

"We're fighting to be third and are still in the Europa League. We've had years when we have won nothing. You can't always have it your own way.

"Elements of this season have been difficult. Getting knocked out of the Champions League and not keeping up our league form have tested us, but the big picture is you want to be successful at the end of the season.

"Last year proved that we can turn things around. People talk about a crisis and up-and-down seasons and you still find yourself with a chance of a cup and Champions League qualification next year. A lot of teams won't get that."

Lampard went on to confirm there was no news to report about a possible extension to his Chelsea contract that runs out this summer and it now seems inevitable that he will be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of this campaign.

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