Lampard on the spot
Sunday, 30 May, 2010
Chelsea midfielder says he will not shy away from spot-kick duty.
Frank Lampard says he will still step forward for penalty taking duties despite missing a second successive effort from the spot.
Lampard missed the target against Portsmouth when Chelsea won The FA Cup a fortnight ago, and had his spot-kick saved by Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima in England’s 2-1 win in Graz.
Lampard has scored 25 out of 29 penalties in all competitions since missing from the spot as the Three Lions went out of the 2006 World Cup in a shoot-out defeat by Portugal, but is not hiding.
“I always want to take penalties. It wasn’t a great one today, to be honest, which is disappointing because I practised loads this week.
“Perhaps it’s better to miss them now. I was under the spotlight because I missed the last one I took. But I’m always confident in taking them, and that will make me work harder and if the manager wants me to take one I will step up.”
Lampard was aware that in the first half England struggled to find any fluency.
“It was a build-up match for the World Cup and they are not easy games. It wasn’t a vintage performance by far but it is about the players and the team trying to find their way a little bit.
“We’ve played two games this week and won two games so we have to take the positives out of that. Now we’ve got ten days to two weeks to get ready for the real thing.”
More encouraging was the second-half, when two Japanese own goals allowed England to secure a morale-boosting 2-1 win in their final warm-up game.
“Everyone stepped up their game after the break. The first half was slightly sluggish, but in the second half we got more of the ball and played with more intensity, getting the ball forward quicker, and got the ball in their box a lot more.”
Lampard played in central midfield alongside Steven Gerrard for the first time under Fabio Capello, but was pleased with the way it went.
“Stevie is a great player and it is a pleasure to play with him anyway, and in the second-half we did pretty well, so hopefully we can work on that in some way, shape or form.”