Frank Lampard hails Ashley Cole's consistency at the top level
England v Republic of Ireland
8pm, Wednesday 29 May 2013
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Frank Lampard has hailed Ashley Cole as one of the best left backs in world football ahead of England's showdown with Republic of Ireland.
Cole will win his 102nd cap on Wednesday night and he will lead England out against Giovanni Trapattoni's men to commemorate his landmark.
And Lampard said: "It is a perfect gesture [to captain England ] and it is well deserved.
"The way he has performed, he has been one of the most consistent left-backs in world football."
Cole and Lampard are just two of Manager Roy Hodgson's senior Lions and the latter says he feels an added sense of responsibility for the younger players coming through.
The Chelsea man explained: "There are a few of us the other side of 30 with lots of caps behind us so we have to accept that responsibility, whether in training or in the pitch.
"It is very exciting times for us, since the World Cup and the Euros, we have developed the youngsters. If we can help them, they can also help us with their energy and enthusiasm so it is a two-way thing."
Wednesday's showdown is the first of two matches to round off the season, with five-time World Cup winners Brazil just around the corner.
Lampard added: "We are always aware, be it qualifiers or friendlies, that we have to impress the Manager.
"We don't get as much time together so every training session and match is of huge importance.
"We want to be playing at our best against two very good teams. Republic of Ireland have a lot of players in the Premier League so it adds to the competitiveness of the game.
"We have a lot of respect for them."