'We're much better now'
Monday, 07 September, 2009
Frank Lampard believes England are a far better team than two years ago.
Frank Lampard believes England are a completely different side to the one that failed to qualify for the European Championships two years ago.
Defeat to Croatia at Wembley in November 2007 spelled heartbreak for Steve McClaren's side, but Fabio Capello has transformed the team since, leading them to seven wins from seven in qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
England's place in South Africa will be sealed if Croatia are beaten on Wednesday night at Wembley, and Lampard is adamant this is a revolutionised Three Lions side, with confidence coursing through their veins.
"There were times when we were low on confidence, but when you come to Wembley now and feel the atmosphere and the feelings of the general public then there's a real uplift from a couple of years ago," said Lampard, who scored the first goal in England's 2-1 friendly win over Slovenia on Saturday.
"The only thing we could do then was come back more positive and stronger, and we have done.
"We have full faith in the Manager, he's shown throughout his career that he makes the right decision more often than not, and he's proving that here with England.
"Our aim has always been to qualify and it's been fantastic how we've gone about it, both home and away.
"We need to finish the job, but we understand Croatia are a very good team. We want to qualify in front of our own fans, and doing it on Wednesday would be great.
"But we won't underestimate Croatia, the Manager won't let us be overconfident, but we want to win."