TWO hundred-goal Frank Lampard has paid tribute to the person he could be about to eclipse as Chelsea's all-time leading scorer.
Lampard, who finally marked a remarkable double century from midfield against West Ham on Sunday, says Bobby Tambling's 202-goal Chelsea record is in his sights, and put on record the support the 71-year-old has shown him in his own career.
“I’m trying to get hold of him,” said Lampard of the Ireland-based Blues legend.
“He’s not been very well. I’m very close to his family and his wife in particular.
“He’s a great man and always been very supportive of me. If ever there was a man I’d love to catch and be level with it would be Bobby. He’s a top man.”
Lampard's double-ton could have been written in the stars, coming as it did against former club West Ham.
And the Chelsea number eight didn't hide the fact he relished the moment that little bit extra because of it.
He said: “I should have done it against Joe Hart a few weeks ago! That’s football, obviously I have a few connections with West Ham and I’m not going to lie it did feel nice to score.
“I’m just pleased. If I’m playing regularly and training hard, I feel I can contribute and score goals.
“I have been here a long time so I’m getting the old-boy milestones, like appearances and all those things.
"The goals one is something I’m certainly proud of. I didn’t think I’d get near 200 when I signed so to get here is great and it was a special day.”
Lampard also gave the nod to both 'interim' boss Rafael Benitez, and predecessor Roberto Di Matteo for giving him the freedom to carry on scoring even in his new deeper role.
He added: “With experience you can play the deeper role and arrive in the penalty area a bit more seldom but with a bit more effect. You can see things from behind.
“To be fair to the manager [Benitez] he wants me to play next to whoever in the deeper role because we have so many attacking players, but when I have an opportunity to go forward he is more than happy for me to do so.
“I have learnt that since Di Matteo took over and in the build up to the Champions League final. This year I have developed it a bit more to be able to play deep and arrive a bit more.”