Finish with a flurry
Monday, 12 October, 2009
Frank Lampard wants England to go out with a bang on Wednesday.
Wayne Rooney may miss England's final World Cup qualifier this week, but Frank Lampard reckons his absence could be a blessing in disguise.
Manchester United striker Rooney, one of the outstanding performers in England's World Cup qualifying campaign, will miss the clash with Belarus at Wembley with a calf strain.
It means the likes of Carlton Cole, Peter Crouch and Gabriel Agbonlahor may get a chance to shine and Lampard is hoping they will impress if selected.
"Obviously Wayne is a big player and he's been in fantastic form for goodness knows how long," said Lampard, who celebrates his tenth year as an England player this week.
"He is a top player, the player of our campaign, but it can be a nice thing for us to get on without him.
"Players are eager to get a chance to play. We can't rely on individuals. Fabio Capello regards the team as a whole, not individual players.
"If we are going to be successful we are not going to rely on 11 players - we need the entire squad.
"The competition for places is there and it is what we like. Fighting for places is healthy."
England lost their first competitive game under Capello on Saturday and Lampard, who will pick up his 75th cap against Belarus, is eager to put the disappointment of the 1-0 defeat to Ukraine behind him.
And while Capello has reinvigorated the Three Lions, midfielder Lampard says there is still work to do.
"The Manager deserves credit and he wants to keep improving," he explained. "It was a difficult game against Ukraine but we were trying to win until the 90th minute.
"Belarus is our last qualifier and we want to put on a show for the fans at Wembley. It has been a successful campaign and we don't want to finish with a whimper.
"In terms of the World Cup, we are not saying we are going to South Africa as favourites. Obviously our aim is to win it, but we need to improve."
Tickets are still available for England's final World Cup qualifier, click here to book your seat at Wembley!