There’s going to be plenty of hard work and graft put in during pre-season, but Frank Lampard has said that the next five weeks will be just as important for building relationships with his Derby County players.

The Rams return for pre-season training this Friday – the start of a new era for the club after Lampard took over as manager earlier this month.

For the 40-year-old, it marks the start of his first spell in the dugout since he called time on his stellar playing career which saw him lift every honour available to him at Chelsea, and also represent West Ham United, Manchester City and New York City.

Now in his next venture with Derby, Lampard has spoken to the RamsTV about the importance of immediately striking up strong relationships with his staff and players.

He stated that, despite working under a number of top-class coaches and manager, the ones he remembers the most are the ones that went out of their way to forge personal relationships with the players.

“I’ve been up at the training ground and I have also spoken to some of the players on the phone,” Lampard said.

“I’ll certainly be talking to all of them, both collectively and individually, as we go along. One of my main aims here is to be that manager.

“All of the managers that I played under, the ones that I really remember in a good way are the ones that I had personal relationships with.

“It can’t always be beautiful, but there has to be a relationship there and the quicker I can build those relationships, the better.

“It’s just about talking. I have learned a lot about the players since I got the job. I have been studying, watching games and talking to people, but there’s only so much you can learn until you actually meet the players.

“As every new manager would say, it is a clean slate and it genuinely is. I’m here to do the best that I can do for the club and to do that I need to get the best that I can out of the squad.”

Lampard has also given an early indication of what Derby’s pre-season will be like under him.

There’s no getting away from it, the Rams’ players are going to need to put in the hard yards when it comes to running.

“There will be lots of running, unfortunately, because that has to happen,” Lampard said. “Hopefully it will be running that the players enjoy.

“A lot of it is going to be done with the ball and geared towards the running that we are going to be doing week in, week out, when the season starts.

“We have got a good team in terms of my staff, in terms of the medical team and in terms of the players and the latter will get the best opportunity to make sure they are individually right.

“Unfortunately, that does involve running. I always liked specific running – the kind that involves the footballs – and I’ll be looking to incorporate both together.”