Lampard not ruling out 'great manager' Mourinho making Premier League return

Jose Mourinho was not entirely to blame for Manchester United's struggles, according to Frank Lampard, and will return at the top.

Derby County boss Frank Lampard.   -  Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Frank Lampard expects Jose Mourinho to be in high demand following his departure from Manchester United - and would not be surprised to see his former Chelsea boss back in the Premier League again.

Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday after two and a half years in charge at Old Trafford, winning the EFL Cup and Europa League during a tenure that turned sour during the final few months.

Lampard knows all about the Portuguese from their successful time together at Stamford Bridge, as they won three league titles while working together.

Asked if he could envisage Mourinho coming back to manage in the English top flight again, the former England international said: "Possibly. It's Jose Mourinho. Anything can happen.

"He'll be wanted because he's a great manager and because of what he has done in the game.

"It's up to him now - he can take a rest. Maybe he deserves a little rest for a while because of the pressure up there, I'm not sure that would've been nice, the pressure from the outside.

"But he's a driven man and will be back in the game, whether it's in the Premier League or world football. And it will be at the top too, because he is a top manager."

Lampard joined Chelsea in 2001 when Claudio Ranieri was in charge but blossomed under Mourinho, who had a spell at Real Madrid in between his two stints at the helm for the Blues.

"He gave me a huge amount of confidence," the Derby County boss told the media.

"Of course he's a tactician and his training and preparation for games as a group was brilliant. He dragged me up by the scruff of my neck in footballing terms."

Having taken the plunge into management at Championship level, Lampard has a new appreciation for the pressure that comes with being in charge.

"We're not walking around with our eyes closed - this is the game and the modern world we live in. There is intense scrutiny on managers, particularly at the top clubs," he said.

"You'd be a fool to say it wasn't possible [for Mourinho to be sacked], because they're Manchester United and were not winning as many games as possible.

"But it's certainly not all Jose Mourinho's fault, even if the manager carries the can.

"He's a great, great manager. Of course results were not going as well as they wanted recently, and this is the life we live.

"It's happened and they will move on. Jose Mourinho will move on and so will Manchester United."