Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has spoken out about hiring Frank Lampard as a motivational speaker, as reported by the Express & Star

Smith and Lampard will go head-to-head tomorrow, with the latter now in charge of Championship promotion-chasers Derby County.

The two, however, have met before in a very different scenario. During his spell as manager of Brentford, Smith hired Lampard to deliver a motivational speech to his players.

The current Villa boss believes that Lampard’s communication skills are benefiting the Rams:

“When you meet Frank, he has a really good way about him. He understands the game and what it takes to get to the top, like he did.

“And he articulates it well. You can see at the moment, the way he wants to play, he is getting across to his players very well. They (Derby) are showing what a good team they are.”

He then explained why the former Chelsea midfielder was drafted in to inspire the Brentford squad:

“We (at Brentford) used to do it quite regularly, get someone in from another sport or someone at the top of the game.

“I have known his dad, Frank Sr for quite a while. I asked if he could get in touch with Frank to see if he would come in and talk to the players.

“Frank then kindly came along and had a chat with all the players and staff and was really good.

“He talked about his career, his pathway to get where he got to and how he sees where he is going in the the future.

“He was just starting to do a bit of coaching then at Chelsea, with the younger players. It was great for my players to hear from someone who has had the career he has had and how hard he worked to get there.”

Smith was evidently pleased with the impact of the speakers he hired at Brentford, as he is keen to bring some to Villa Park:

“There are a couple I have got up my sleeve who I think would be really good to come in, for the players listen to and ask questions. I think that is the important thing, that they ask questions.

“One of the things we started to do at Brentford, and would like to do here, is to go and visit other sports and then come back and present back to the staff and the players.

“It is good practice and you might get ideas from other sports and clubs.”

Smith is not the only figure that Lampard will be reunited with, as his former teammate John Terry will also be sat in the opposition’s dugout. Terry is now the club’s assistant manager after bringing an end to his playing career in October.

Villa trail Derby by seven points and will be looking to haul themselves up the Championship table with a victory in tomorrow’s game. The Rams haven’t been beaten in the league since September and will be keen to continue their impressive run of form.

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