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“He galvanizes people,” Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard told Talk Sport radio Monday. “His own self-confidence reflects back on his teams. … what he does is he gets the best out of players and gets this togetherness that I’d never known until he came to the club and I haven’t seen it again since then.”

Popular with fans and media alike in England _ in stark contrasted to his many fraught relationships in Spain _ Mourinho appears to have repaired his relationship with Abramovich, who has had nine managers since 2000.

“He might rub people up the wrong way but, as a manager, he’s brilliant with his team. Tactically, he’s brilliant with individuals and I think he’s brilliant with the press,” Lampard said. “I know it creates a storm, but he does protect his players.”


AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in London contributed to this report.