JOE EDWARDS worked with Thomas Tuchel and Frank Lampard and helped Chelsea win the Champions League.
Today he starts another chapter as new Millwall boss as they travel to bottom club Sheffield Wednesday.
Edwards, 37, was assistant to both bosses at Stamford Bridge and followed Lampard to work under him at Everton.
He recalls when Lampard was replaced at the Blues in January 2021 by Tuchel, who led the team to Euro glory.
He said: “When Thomas inherited the team, it was abrupt. We’d been top of the league in December and had a 17-game unbeaten run.
“The team and squad Frank built was very strong and it was also definitely fit.
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“We had some poor results and, as is the case with Chelsea, that can prove costly for the manager.
“Thomas came in and respected what had been built, particularly the physical condition of the team and how we could work without the ball. He picked a system that suited the senior players.
“He kept the plan and approach to each game simple, respecting the experience of the players and where they had come from under Frank.
“From there he kept a lot of continuity in training, the message and consistency, and built a lot of momentum.”
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Ex-Lions boss Gary Rowett led them to eighth, 11th, ninth and eighth positions during his four seasons in charge and they just missed out on a play-off spot last season.
He left by mutual consent last month, with the club hoping to move into a more fluid, possession-based approach.
Edwards said: “My whole purpose and plan is to move in a slightly different direction in terms of playing style and the identity on the pitch. We must be mindful of that.
“You can look at the fact they just missed out on play-offs and say, ‘Build on that’.
“But often it is not that simple where we go again and to build from the top half of the table.
“The reality is we’ve had a slow start to the season so I see it as a process. There has been a steady way of working for a number of years under Gary, which has served the players well because they have played to their strengths.
“As a group, they’ve been a tough team to play against.
“I want to enhance some of that — it won’t be a case of ripping everything up and starting from new.
“It’ll be an example of what happened at Chelsea when Thomas took over a team put into a good position by Frank.
“It’ll be a case of looking at what’s working well and what makes this team tick.”
The Championship is like the Prem now in terms of many clubs playing a more possession-based game rather than the up-and-at-’em style the division was famous for.
Edwards added: “Football has always been heavily influenced by the arrival of different nationalities of coaches.
“They bring many different playing styles and as a coach you get influenced by seeing so much and having access.
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“It’s now an era where teams want possession and to dominate games that way.
“It gets to a point where if you don’t move forward then you can get left behind.”
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