While Jack Cork was in the infancy of his career at Chelsea, there was a Blues’ legend right in the prime of his.

As a former Stamford Bridge ball boy, Cork had always looked up to Frank Lampard and is not surprised he has made a seamless transition into management.

The 30-year-old, now a vital component of the Burnley engine-room, revealed he learnt a lot from the Blues’ all-time leading goalscorer, when he was coming through the ranks at Chelsea’s academy.

On Saturday, Cork will return to Stamford Bridge once more, looking to get one over the man he learnt so much from.

“I think he was brilliant with the younger ones when I was at the club”, said Cork.

“He’s a top professional, won everything at Chelsea, played at the highest level internationally and he’s done everything that he said he would do at Chelsea.

“There’s nobody better. When I was at the club, they had the best English players and some of the best players in the world.

“There was Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, Ricardo Carvalho, the players, the managers, everything they were doing was at the top.

“They invested in it really well and it was amazing to be a part of it.

“Frank was one of the spearheads of that, constantly scoring goals, dragging the team through hard games and he was a good person to look up to.

“I learnt a lot from watching him and seeing the work he put in off the pitch.

“After a training session he’d be running on his own, going box to box, and the commitment he put in was top.

“I didn’t know what his motivation or his focus was, but if you were to look at those going in to management you’d have picked somebody like Lampard or Terry who were natural leaders.

“When we trained with the first team they’d always make sure that we were made to feel welcome so we’d fit in. It was good.”

After guiding Derby County to the Championship play-offs in his first season in management, Lampard answered when his old club came calling after Maurizio Sarri’s departure.

He returned in the summer, this as time as the boss and found himself in an unusual position for any Chelsea chief with his hands tied.

The Blues were placed under a transfer ban and he lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid to boot.

Lampard put his trust in the club’s highly-rated youth stars and this has so far paid dividends, with them currently occupying a top-four place in the Premier League.

With the ban overturned, Cork is intrigued to see how Lampard gets on now he has the license to sign his own players.

“He’s got results and he’s played the young lads so you can’t ask for much more,” he said.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he does when given a transfer budget and see how he works with that.”

The Clarets are in the midst of a sticky spell in their Premier League campaign, having lost three successive games in a tough Christmas and new year.

Last Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash with Peterborough may well have been seen as a good distraction for Sean Dyche’s side.

And Cork believes their 4-2 win over the League One outfit to set up a meeting with Norwich will stand them in good stead ahead of a tough run of games in their bread and butter of the league.

“It hasn’t been a great month, losing three in a row, so to get that win is a good thing”, he said.

“We’ve got a tough month coming up, but we’ve got a good record against Chelsea since I’ve been here, we’ve got Leicester City at home and another against Arsenal, who aren’t too far off us.

“If you manage to get points from these games it puts you in a stronger position heading into the month after.”