Frank Lampard urges his Derby squad to give everything in bid to overcome Leeds and reach Wembley final – The Telegraph

Frank Lampard urges his Derby squad to \give everything\ in bid to overcome Leeds and reach Wembley final - The Telegraph

Frank Lampard updates on Derby County striker Martyn Waghorns fitness

Lampard is facing the biggest game of his emerging managerial career in the crucial second leg against Leeds and has sent a stirring message to his players as Derby bid to recover a 1-0 deficit.

Derby have suffered heartbreak in three of the previous five seasons at the play-off stage and their young squad are preparing for a hostile atmosphere at Elland Road.

Read more If we go there on the front foot and put our stamp on the game, then the fans might turn and thats something we would hope to do, Johnson said. I have been there in full houses and they do get behind the team. We have got to go there and take the emotion out of the game and not let the fans dictate the way we play and just play our game. They are a good footballing side. We have got to go there and out-battle them and outplay them and hopefully get the win.

And Lampard has told his players to relish the challenge of upsetting Leeds in front of their own fans to secure a Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Read more Its a strong atmosphere, its a stadium of history. It will be tough but the players need to rise to that. Theres pressure for us but theres also pressure for them. We just have to worry about ourselves. We dont have to go crazy. Weve come back well from losing situations in games this season. This will be our biggest test yet on that front. We all know the intensity of this game. Its big and that ramped up in January for obvious reasons.

These games are critical, the pressure games that will define us. A game mid-season may not be but these games are do or die and that brings the jeopardy in. They separate the men from the boys as such, he said.

Lampard said Leeds did not apologise over Spygate, when a member of Bielsas staff was sent to watch a Derby training session from a nearby field at the turn of the year. Leeds were fined £200,000 for breaching a nebulous good faith rule in the EFLs code of conduct, a fine that Bielsa paid himself, and the governing body is set to bring in a specific regulation banning the practice.

I want them to come off the pitch having given everything. These are the matches the players, when they were young boys, were dreaming about.

It will be a tough match, with a big atmosphere, Lampard said. We have young players and they have to accept the pressure that Elland Road will bring. If we approach the game as we did the run-in, then we have a chance. We have to be more composed. We have to believe until the very last minute. We must be driven, determined and professional; we have to give everything.

For the players who have been here a while, this means a lot for them. They have been trying for a few years, some of them. The last thing you want to do is come away say, We could have done something.

Derby could welcome back the former England defender Ashley Cole following a groin problem but Martyn Waghorn remains a doubt with an achilles problem. He [Waghorn] broke down on Friday, Lampard said. But he is desperate to be involved. He will be assessed up until the last moment.

We have played at Elland Road before and at some fierce grounds this season and it is something the players will need to be ready for, to know what is coming.

Bielsas side have won only two of their past five matches at their stadium and the Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson, who spent three years at Leeds, knows the importance of trying to silence a vociferous home support.

Derbys hopes of securing a result could rest on their young loan stars, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea, and Liverpools Harry Wilson.

The trio will return to their Premier League clubs this summer and Lampard is challenging them to sign off with a flourish.

We have some younger players who are on loan who might go back to their parent clubs, but what a chance for them in their own careers to lay down a marker and to feel a game like this, he said.

If they are going to be successful as they want to be there will be more of this and bigger and better than these games potentially for some of them if they go to the higher end of the Premier League or European football.

Derby will head into the game with a burning sense of injustice after Saturdays first leg, in which a penalty was awarded by referee Craig Pawson before the decision was overturned on the advice of his assistant.

And Lampard is calling for cool heads as Derby bid to avoid a fourth defeat of the season against Marcelo Bielsa.

He said: It could take one mad moment, so it has to be a passion and a drive thats controlled. One moment can change the game, particularly when youre away from home because of the element of the home crowd and the pressure that can put on the officials heightens that from our point of view.

So we must make sure we do the right things, show absolute desire in football terms, without over-stepping the mark.

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