Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe believes Frank Lampard has done a truly remarkable job at Derby County this season and puts it down to having a good philosophy, the club’s official website report.

The Rams are one match away from reaching the Premier League as they take on Aston Villa in the playoff final.

Derby haven’t threatened automatic promotion this season, but they have a knack of showing up for the big games. They reached the playoff final by overturning a 2-0 aggregate deficit to rivals Leeds United.

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Previewing the upcoming playoff final, former Sheffield Wednesday man Hinchcliffe believes Lampard has exceeded expectations at Pride Park.

Derby probably didn’t expect to do so well but when you have a plan in place, have a good coach and players willing to work hard, you can achieve what you deserve. They have achieved good things by having good coaches, a good philosophy and consistency. Frank, with his playing career, has been incredible but management is a totally different ball game. To achieve what he has done this season is truly remarkable.

How Frank Lampard has changed Derby County’s philosophy:

Following last season’s playoff defeat to Fulham under then manager Gary Rowett, Derby have gone about things differently this term.

Lampard, a recognised former Chelsea and England international midfielder, wants his side to play possession football. It’s stark contrast from the football played under Rowett, as Derby were last season pragmatic and direct.

The players have bought into Lampard’s vision. Whether the Rams reach the Premier League this season or not, the template for future success has seemingly been set.

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Derby will start the playoff final as underdogs. Villa have already beaten the Rams twice this season, winning 3-0 at Pride Park before dishing out a 4-0 thrashing at Villa Park.

But Leeds held an equally strong record and Lampard’s men found a way. Derby have momentum, and a growing belief this is their year following more than a decade of successive Championship football.

Also see: Graeme Shinnie gives his verdict on Derby County’s playoff semi-final win.

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