Frank Lampard has praised Carlo Ancelotti's man-management skills ahead of their reunion at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
The two managers meet on the touchline for the first time as Chelsea host Everton and Lampard, who played under Ancelotti for two seasons, is full of respect for the Italian.
"Carlo was a great man-manager," said Lampard, via the Chelsea website.
"On a personal level he was great at striking up a relationship with the players to try to get the best out them.
"He was very good tactically with a really calm manner at the right time, never too high, never too low, and he was someone I personally enjoyed working with."
"He was a top-class manager"
Ancelotti won a league and cup double in his first season in West London, but was fired the following season after failing to win a trophy and finishing second.
Lampard's most successful campaign came under Ancelotti during the 2009/10 season becoming the first midfielder to score over 20 goals in a Premier League campaign.
His 22 league goals contibuted to Chelsea's record-breaking total of 103.
"We scored a lot, particularly in the run-in," Lampard reflects.
"We were fluid, we changed formation. Particularly we had a moment of change when we started with a diamond and we moved to 4-3-3 and he was finding the right formation for the players we had.
"I understand that, now I am a manager as well, it sometimes takes a bit of time, but he gave a relative freedom to the players in terms of how we attacked.
"I certainly remember that but also how tactically savvy he was, he had already won the Champions League before coming here. He was a top-class manager on all levels."
"I remember him giving me words of encouragement"
Lampard also highlighted how Ancelotti's disposition differs from the one he has often adopted since going into management.
He continued, "For the group he was never too high and never too low and to see some consistency in a manager is a great thing.
"You didn't have those mood swings that maybe I have now but you try to keep the lid on them. That was good for the group.
"Individually there was a good word in your ear at the right time. In a good moment I remember him boosting me and in a bad moment I remember him giving me words of encouragement.
"That was his method of working, to encourage, to give you targets, and I always found that enjoyable to work with."
"I want to see him and go up against him"
Ancelotti's place in Everton's technical area tomorrow looked under threat earlier this week following his dismissal at the end of the Toffee's draw with Manchester United.
The 60-year-old accepted his charge after the game and will only be fined.
"It was not the most vicous of red cards, was it?" said Lampard. "I was suprised the sending-off came. Now [as a manager] I understand the emotions that are involved and I think that is probably as heated as he goes.
"He has taken his fine and moved on and I am pleased he is on the touchline. I want to see him and go up against him."