Derby County manager Frank Lampard takes his side to the Liberty Stadium tonight to face Swansea City in a crucial Sky Bet Championship clash.

The Rams boss is familiar with the Swans following a brief loan spell in his early playing career from West Ham United, however, their current situation is a far cry from his time there in 1995.

Lampard was 17-years-old at the time, the Swans were managed by Bobby Smith and were struggling the lower leagues, but it was a loan spell the current Rams boss needed in the early stages of his career.

“I had just passed my driving test, I got my first car – a Fiesta – and I was driving four hours to Swansea along the M4 from Essex,” he told RamsTV.

“It is important to take young players out of their comfort zone and push them and that was certainly a two-month eye opener for me but I enjoyed it.

“We played at the Vetch Field and it was a fantastic experience for me. Character building in many ways and it was great. I look at our young boys and the benefits this year has had for them.

“Mine was slightly different, but it was brilliant for me and actually very well welcomed by people behind the scenes at the club and fans alike, so I have always looked out for Swansea a little bit. Obviously though, we want to beat them on Wednesday.”

Since his time there, Swansea have transformed. A new stadium, a rise through the divisions and a sustained period in the Premier League.

“It is a big testament to the club in what they have done and how they have turned it around and what a great stadium they have got,” Lampard said.

“They have had a lot of years in the Premier League which I didn’t see coming when I was at the Vetch, it was not many people coming to see a team at the bottom of Division Two.”

However, victory for the Rams is the only thing on the mind of the manager heading into the game as his side could take a huge step in securing a play-off place tonight.

He said: “We will always approach it with a positive attitude to try and win the game. A win puts us very, very close and then goal difference would come into play slightly.”