Grant McCann is relishing facing former team-mate Frank Lampard as Hull City take on Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round this Saturday.
McCann and Lampard were team-mates at West Ham United, just as Lampard was breaking into the first team there, and McCann has followed his career with interest.
“When we were at West Ham together, he was always someone I looked up to as a young boy coming over from Ireland,” said McCann.
When McCann was named manager of the Tigers on June 21, there was the possibility of facing Lampard in the league this season with the former England midfielder still managing Derby County at the time following
their 2-1 play-off final defeat to Aston Villa.
On July 4 however, Lampard became manager of Chelsea, a club where he spent most of a career that McCann dubbed “world class”.
“He’s had an unbelievable career to date, watching him grow up as a player, watching the hard work he put in on the training ground every day, it was no surprise to see him become such a top player,” added McCann.
McCann and Lampard had very contrasting careers, While Lampard was playing in Champions League finals with the Blues, McCann was playing in League One play-off finals with Peterborough.
McCann, though, revealed that the two players do sometimes speak.
He said: “I spoke to him last year when I was trying to take a player from Derby to Doncaster. He’s starting to get to grips with this management game after a really good season at Derby last season which led to him getting that move to Chelsea, where he’s doing well.”
McCann will be hoping his Hull side can spring one of the shocks of the fourth round when they play the Europa League winners in Saturday tea-time’s televised clash.