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Frank Lampard says Guus Hiddink has brought a winning mentality to Chelsea FC which he believes will be vital in restoring the club's fortunes and propelling them towards the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The Russia coach has assumed the reins at Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis until the end of the season following the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari and has already experienced the thrill of lifting Europe's most prestigious trophy, which could make all the difference according to the England midfielder. "Every coach has slightly different ideas but the main idea is that we want to win and that's what he has brought with him," said Lampard of the Dutchman who won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1988 with PSV Eindhoven. "It's what the players want as well. We have not performed as well as we should have done in the last two or three months considering the quality in the squad, but we still have a chance in all the competitions we are in and that makes the Juventus game a massive one."
The first knockout round tie brings the Chelsea players up against former manager Claudio Ranieri and Lampard is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with the Italian. "Without Claudio I probably wouldn't be at Chelsea," he added. "He signed me at a time when £11m was seen as a lot of money and I have the utmost respect for him. He's a great man as well as a great manager and he helped me develop after leaving West Ham [United FC]. I had not seen the real world in football terms and he opened my eyes to a lot of things. He deserves credit for the success this club has had since he left because he signed a lot of good players and elevated John Terry to captain. He's now grown into one of the best captains in the world."
Chelsea have reached the semi-finals of this competition in four of the last five years and Lampard stressed again the hunger that drives the London team on in this competition – the desire to make amends for last term's disappointment when they lost in a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United FC in the Moscow final. "You can't help but have that in the back of your mind – the manner in which we came so close gives us great determination to go back and win it one day."
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