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Jose Mourinho backs Frank Lampard to maintain a Championship promotion push with Derby County ahead of Manchester United cup tie

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Jose Mourinho has backed Frank Lampard’s Derby County to maintain a Championship promotion fight.

The Manchester United boss - and Lampard’s former manager at Chelsea - was speaking ahead of their first meeting in opposing dugouts.

The Red Devils host an in-form Rams side tonight (Tuesday 25th September, 8pm) at Old Trafford in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

And Mourinho spoke of what he expects from a Derby side managed by his former midfield magician.

“I don’t consider them favourites because it is really hard to do that in the Championship – it’s such a difficult competition and it’s becoming a good competition, with so many good teams, that it is difficult to qualify and say this team is a candidate,” Mourinho told manutd.com.

“But I think when Frank (Lampard) goes there he goes with the intention of being promoted. He has experienced players, he has good players coming from good academies like Chelsea and Liverpool.

“They are playing well, they are in the fight for promotion and we all know that a fight in that competition will be for promotion, for play-offs, and will last until the end.”