Frank Lampard insists he was not fazed by threat of losing his England place

28 March 2011 11:20
Spot on: Lampard celebrates his goal against Wales

Frank Lampard insists he was not worried about reports claiming he was about to be axed from the England team after an injury-hit season.

The Chelsea midfielder put his groin and calf problems behind him and scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in the 2-0 win over Wales in their Euro 2012 qualifier on Saturday.

But there was speculation before the game that Lampard would lose his place after Fabio Capello had indicated Jack Wilshere would now be an automatic starter.

However the 32-year-old showed he still has plenty to offer at international level in linking up well with Wilshere and Scott Parker at the Millennium Stadium.

When asked if  he concerned about missing out at the weekend, Lampard said: 'That's typical. With England, that happens. I've been around a long time and been lucky enough to be very regular, and I triednot to let it concern me.

'We don't get the papers in there but I was aware of the talk. It's agood squad, a strong squad, and never for any minute should any player be resting on their laurels about getting picked.'

Furthermore, Lampard now believes he is back to his best but saysno player can take their England place for granted.

He said: 'I think I'm coming back to my best form now. It's been a very difficult season.'I've missed half of it - and I've never really had that kind of a break from the game before. You miss a 'pre-season' feel because you come straight back into football and then I broke down a little bit again with a calf.

Blast off: Lampard prepares to smash the ball into the back of the net on Saturday

'It's been a bit stop-start in January and February, but in the last few games for Chelsea I've started to feel as fit as I had beforehand.

'That's a lovely feeling to have back because I was out a long time and it was frustrating being out. But now I'm feeling really good. I don't go into games now worrying about the groin or anything else. I just worry about trying to play.'

Lampard believes the win over Wales has put England back on the road for qualification to Euro 2012.

He added: 'I think that win puts us in the driving seat. We drew against Montenegro, and they're the strongest team in the group with us at the moment.

'We're in a strong position. We had to win against Wales and it was a game that, on paper, we should have won even if it was not going to be easy.

'We did it. With Switzerland coming up, if we can win that game as well, we'll put ourselves in an even stronger position.'

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Source: Daily_Mail