STEVE BRUCE is of a different Premier League generation to Frank Lampard. In opposite St James’ Park dug outs today, the pair both played for the very best.

Lampard graced a fine Chelsea team, Bruce a cornerstone of Manchester United’s 1990s success.

But, as Bruce’s playing days came to a natural close in 1995, Lampard’s career took off, and so did the Premier League. Untold riches flowed into the game, meaning managerial roles and jobs in the game after playing weren’t necessary.

But Lampard is different, he’s spent an impressive year in charge of Derby before taking over at Stamford Bridge this season.

“I worried about his generation because not many are going into the coaching, but Frank, [Steven] Gerrard, [John] Terry have done it,’’ admitted Bruce.

“I’m delighted he’s stamped his mark on it straight away. I’m a big admirer of Frank, a great lad and it can’t be easy to manage Chelsea.

“I’m delighted for Frank. As I’ve said many times I worried for that generation. They’re all financially fine because they played in the Premier League. But now you’ve got Frank, John and Gerrard. They’ve stayed in and it’s good to see as I didn’t think there would be many. Frank's a good lad.’’

Lampard has changed the outlook at Chelsea, with a string of younger prospects being given a chance in the Premier League.

Spending millions on a new signing isn’t necessarily on the agenda for Lampard, who is keen to promote from within.

One of those given an opportunity this season at the club, Tammy Abraham, is a striker Bruce briefly managed at Aston Villa.

“Tammy is a goalscorer, a natural one with the attributes and you could tell in his demeanour he wants to score,’’ said the Newcastle boss. “He’s beat off big competition and made the role his own after some people doubted him at Swansea.

“With a lot of younger players in the team they go up and down and it’s quite normal to be up and down. They are a very good side.

“I only had the chance to work with him for about eight weeks but he always had that instinct. He was one of them where if he didn’t score you didn’t think he played well, which is always the sign of a really good striker in my opinion.

“All he wants to do is score a goal and he is capable. He’s got all the tools – he’s good in the air, he’s quick, he’s a good finisher. He’s a very, very good player. Arguably he got Aston Villa promoted with his goals and he’s made a hell of a job this year. I’m delighted for him, he’s a good kid. Let’s find another of him…on loan.’’

Bruce fears he will be missing Paul Dummett for the remainder of the season. The defender has suffered a severe hamstring injury, and is set to see a second specialist to decide on a course of action.

Dwight Gayle should be back within a month after also suffering a hamstring problem.

“Dummy jumped would you believe, he didn't do it running,’’ said Bruce. “Gayle is four to six week.

“It is hard to put a timescale on Dummy because he is getting a second opinion. His is more a tendon than a muscle, They are still trying to get that confirmed.”