LONDON - Jose Mourinho is confident he can carry on getting the best out of Frank Lampard as the England midfielder nears the end of his career.
At 35, Lampard is the elder statesman of Mourinho's Chelsea team but emphasised his worth with two goals in a comprehensive 3-0 win at West Ham - his former club - as the Blues moved up into third place in the Premier League table on Saturday.
Lampard had found himself marginalised when Andre Villas-Boas was in charge at Stamford Bridge but Mourinho has made no attempt to phase out a player who was pivotal to success in the 'Special One's' first spell in charge at Chelsea, which saw them win the Premier League title twice before his abrupt departure in 2007.
"He's in a moment where he has nothing to prove, to you to the fans, to me, to himself," Mourinho said of Lampard.
"He has just to enjoy the last years of his career, try to play the maximum he can, try to score because scoring was always something that was part of his DNA as a player, and enjoy life," the Portuguese added.
"That's what he has to do. I think I come to him in the right moment for him. I was his manager in the best period of his career and now I come back with him to enjoy the last period of his career."
Mourinho, who saw Brazil play-maker Oscar score his side's second goal at Upton Park, was convinced Lampard would decide himself when it was time to quit the top-flight in England, possibly for a swan song in the United States.
"It depends on them," he said of the game's elite performers. "Sometimes they stop when they want, when nobody is waiting for it. A few weeks ago Deco called me to tell me he's going to stop.
"Sometimes they cannot say one more year, two more years, three more years. They have to enjoy and when they feel they don't enjoy so much, they decide it's time to stop."