Chelsea star expects tough game

Last updated : 07 December 2007 By Martyn Bowers
Keane faced Lampard several times during his playing career therefore the England international knows just what to expect when the Black Cats visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

'He was someone to look up to when I was coming through and I played him when I was quite young, and felt the full force of him as an all-round player,' Lampard said.

'He was the complete midfield player, the type I wanted to be. I was quite in awe of him at one stage when I was a kid. I remember at Manchester United it was so difficult playing against him. He ran the show and it was difficult to get the better of him.

'More than anything I remember his presence on the pitch. You can see how far you are from the top, and it was a tricky prospect to play, especially at Old Trafford.'

Talking about Keane's swift entry into management, Lampard admitted that it surprised him but he can't help but be impressed by the turn-around he has created at Sunderland.

'It surprised me when he took over, I didn't think he'd go into management that quickly,' the Chelsea man admitted.

'You're not sure whether people have the personality, but he did and it didn't surprise me he did so well, though perhaps it did in that he did it in such a short time. He must have been manager of the year last year with that achievement.

'He was obviously a very forceful character as a player and he's worked that in a way to get a lot out of the players working for him.'

'I think facing Sunderland these days is a totally different proposition to three years ago,' he explained. 'They had lost the spark and they regained that last season. They've brought that up with them, and I've watched them a few times and they have those fighting qualities that Roy Keane had.'