Frank Lampard has hailed the influence Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had on his career as Derby County prepare to visit Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
The two go head-to-head for the first time in Lampard's managerial career, with the former Chelsea midfielder having won numerous honours under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
And Lampard told RamsTV it will be a pleasure to be up against him.
He said: "He was great and hugely influential for me and my era at Chelsea/ John Terry, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole would all say the same. He came in with a real confidence in himself which transmitted onto the pitch, he was very forward thinking in his coaching and I loved it.
“Probably more than tactically, but mentally, he upped my game. He made me feel good as a person and a player and that was a huge influence on me so I’ve got complete respect for him for that.
“The rest of it speaks for itself, his record of winning in any country at every level right at the top is special. I was honoured to play under lots of managers and I will also speak highly of Jose Mourinho and what he did for me because he was a turning point in my career and really kicked it on.
"I wouldn’t have pictured it when I was 25 and he first came to Chelsea, to jump forward 15 years and be in the dugout across from him as a manager is a strange scenario but it’s the reality of football and the strange things that it does. It will be a pleasure to go up against him.”
Lampard doesn't expect the United line-up to be any weaker than it might be for a Premier League game, such is the strength of Mourinho's squad.
He said: "There might be some rotation but whatever that is then it will be like for like. They have two players in every position that are top class so if he changes, or if he doesn’t, then no matter what way, he will want to win the competition.
“I appreciate that he is going to go for it and we will. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Whatever my selection is will be dedicated to go and win and so will they and that’s the modern day.
“We talk about the Premier League, they have big squads for a reason because they want to challenge on all fronts and win silverware. It’s good for us to go there and know we are playing against a good Manchester United team and we need to show what we have got.
“To win the game is going to be very difficult but if we can make a real good go of it and compete, we have a good opportunity to get a result. We must go there to compete, we must stand up and show that we can compete on the big stage.”