Derby County assistant Jody Morris has told talkSPORT he and manager Frank Lampard are ‘buzzing’ to be facing former Chelsea team-mate John Terry in the play-off final.
Lampard’s Rams booked their trip to Wembley and a shot at promotion to the Premier League with a stunning comeback victory over Leeds United on Wednesday night.
They next take on Aston Villa in what has been dubbed the most lucrative game in football – worth at least £170million to the winners – where Terry, assistant to manager Dean Smith, will be in the opposite dugout after they beat West Brom on penalties.
There is a clear Chelsea theme surrounding this season’s Championship finale.
Not only will there be former Blues on the touchline, they will be current players on the pitch with Derby’s Mason Mount and Villa’s Tammy Abraham, both on loan from Stamford Bridge, also going head-to-head.
And Morris, who made 160 appearances for Chelsea, is excited for himself and Lampard to be reunited with their old friend.
Speaking on Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the Derby coach said: “We watched the Aston Villa game in our hotel in Leeds.
“Obviously me and Lamps are very close to JT and we were all absolutely buzzing for him to get through.
“It was a tough game against West Brom and penalties can go either way, so we were messaging him congratulations.
“And I got the same message last night, there were couple of words exchanged saying we’ll see you at Wembley!
“Villa are a top team, they’ve been better than us a couple of times when we’ve played them this year. It’ll be a massive game and difficult for both teams.
“We both try to play football the right way and we’ve got good players in our teams. It’ll be a good day out.”
It’s been quite a season for Derby, who only qualified for the play-offs on the final day of the season with a victory over West Brom.
The gutsy Rams beat Manchester United to knock them out of the Carabao Cup, before being narrowly beaten by Chelsea in the fourth round, and also upset Southampton en route to the fifth round of FA Cup.
Now they have the chance to cap it off with the biggest prize of them all – promotion back to the Premier League.
And Morris said he never expected the team to come this far in his and Lampard’s first campaign in charge.
“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster of a season,” he told talkSPORT.
“I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have said at the beginning of the season that we would have made the play-offs.
“We knew it was a transitional year, the owner said to us he wanted us to change the style of play, he wanted fans to want to come and watch the club a bit more and maybe it will take time and we might not get the results initially – but thankfully we have.
“We left it late, but to do it on the last day where the lads were great against West Brom was fantastic. We’ve had a couple of decent cup runs, too, so it’s been an eventful season even before last night.
“The character the players showed was outstanding and make no mistake about it, Frank was very clear in the dressing room and on the pitch after that yes, we’ve got to celebrate it, but by no means is anything done.”