FRANK LAMPARD has refused to accept “cultural differences” as an excuse as he blasted “unsporting” Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa for spying on Derby’s training sessions.
SunSport exclusively revealed on Friday the Argentine had phoned his Rams counterpart yesterday to apologise for the dirty antics – the second time he has used them against County this season.
And ahead of the Championship clash between the two sides on Friday, Leeds boss Bielsa took full responsibility after police removed a Leeds employee from the perimeter of Derby’s training ground this week.
He said: “Yesterday I talked to Frank Lampard and he told me I didn’t respect the fair play rules.
“I have a different point of view but the important thing is what Frank Lampard and Derby County think.
“I didn’t ask permission from Leeds United to do it so it’s my responsibility.
“Without trying to find a justification, I’ve been using this kind of practice since the qualifications for the World Cup with Argentina.”
But Chelsea and England legend Lamps refused to accept cultural differences and wants football’s authorities to hit his opposite number hard after he sent an employee to spy on Derby’s training session with a drone.
He told Sky Sports: “On a sportsman’s level it’s bad. If we are going to talk about culturally and say I did it somewhere else and it’s fine, I don’t believe that. It’s disrupted our build-up to the game. People will say I am making an excuse, but I will speak like this after the game whether we win, lose or draw.
The furious Lampard continued: “We had somebody the day before our first game against them which we lost 4-1. Leeds can beat you 4-1 because they are a fantastic team but they had someone in the bushes that day. The man was asked to leave but it wasn’t followed up like it has been this time.
LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS
“The training stopped because the police came on the training ground, then it went away.
“We were training on team tactics, team shape, personnel, how we are going to press, how we will work off the ball, the fact Harry Wilson wasn’t training would become evident, so the person who is watching will see all of that.
“If somebody wants to say that is not relevant, then if tactics aren’t relevant that means Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp, all the great managers, are just lucky.
“If preparation and tactics are not part of the game and quite sacred that you can work on them in your own training ground then I think they must be lucky managers.
“I don’t care if it’s cultural. If possibilities come up to travel later in my career then when I travel to that country I will find out what the etiquette is in that country and I will abide by it, which I think is a good thing to do in life, not just football.
“I don’t think we need to [make a complaint] because he’s admitted it. It’s up to the league to see how they deal with.”
An FA statement said: “We are aware of the incident at Derby County’s training ground and we will be investigating the matter.”