Frank Lampard has thanked Chelsea supporters for the welcome he got on his return to Stamford Bridge this weekend.
The Blues' record goalscorer, a 78 minute substitute for Manchester City in their close-fought 1-1 draw with the league leaders, received a mixed welcome – though the overwhelming tone was positive.
Lampard applauded all four stands before leaving the pitch, with the home support singing his name.Asked moments later how it felt, he said: “Good. I mean it was lovely at the end to get what I got really, the reception from the fans.
“I really appreciate that after a long time here. To come back and get that, I'm a lucky boy. I've got Man City fans giving me a bit of a clap in the warm-up and then I got that at the end from Chelsea, it was very important to me.”
The 36-year-old admitted to some butterflies before his return, after a season in which many have criticised him for a lack of clarity in whether he has signed for Manchester City, or their US project club New York City.
He said: “I was nervous in general I think because it's just so different. To come here and then be playing for an away team, quite a lot spoken about it.
“The attention's seemingly on you even though the big deal is the game. It was a bit nerve-racking but I'm pleased with how it went.
“The game was the game and I've come on and played the last bit of it, but I think it was a close game. In terms of how it went for me off the pitch and all the rest of it I couldn't have asked for any more."
But there were some clear jeers for the Blues legend, and Lampard said he was ready for a healthy slice of criticism at a venue that doesn't suffer fools gladly.
“I've played here and in football sometimes you give a few balls away and you get a slightly negative in a game so what do you expect,” he added. “It's a game of opinions. I've got no problem with that at all.
"What I think Chelsea fans did today, which was support their team how they should do it, which they always do, and then at the end they have something which was very special to me and after 13 years - I'm really pleased that it happened that way. “