Lampard sticks up for Blues team-mate

22 June 2010 06:48
England vice-captain Frank Lampard has defended John Terry over his controversial recent comments and reiterated there is no rift in the camp.

Terry has been criticised by Fabio Capello for his stark assessment of England's woes in an interview on Sunday, but Lampard has stuck up for his Chelsea team-mate.

"The players aren't happy at the moment because we have not performed as we should," Lampard said.

"John came out and spoke with good, honest intentions. We should be thankful that we have players who speak in that way.

"It is the way he plays. He is aggressive and he wants to win. Some say he goes too far. I don't think so. He is very straight talking, as you would expect of that kind of personality."

Nevertheless, Terry uttered some fairly damning words, born out of a debrief over a post-match beer on Friday as England's shattered players were coming to terms with their failure to beat Algeria, a result which leaves them dangling over the abyss.

When he went public with his concerns, and championed the claims of Joe Cole for a starting spot against Slovenia, Terry indicated he was speaking on behalf of the team.

Lampard, part of the so-called nine-strong "rebels", feels the whole basis of what was said has been misinterpreted.

"It is frustrating because there have been headlines about a rift in the camp which honestly is not there," he said.

"When things get difficult in football people try to find factions. I have had it many times. We have to make sure we stay very united."

Although England's players have always been supportive of Capello, they have never spent more than 10 days with him before.

Five weeks in, the austere atmosphere seems to be causing problems.

Terry claimed he had to plead with Capello's right-hand man Franco Baldini for the England team to have a beer on Friday, while Wayne Rooney has previously spoken of the boredom factor.

Lampard, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Sunday, accepts life can be dull at times, but not so dull it is worth destroying team spirit for.

"It is not a boot camp," he said. "We have the most fantastic facilities but there is a security issue and no one can change that.

"The staff have done the utmost to make it as enjoyable as it can be but you can have long days, there is no doubt about that.

"But if you ask anyone - the players who didn't get in the squad for a start - they would want to be here. I would not moan about it for one minute."

Lampard has also denied claims Capello is not approachable.

"If there was a moment in a meeting when you wanted to say something - and there has been on this trip - you address it there," he added.

"If it was something a bit more personal I would try to speak to the manager personally and I would have no fear in doing that."

In fairness, there seemed to be no resentment towards Terry during training on Monday. And Lampard has known his Chelsea team-mate for long enough to be certain he will put the whole sorry saga behind him pretty quickly too.

"John is very tough," he said. "You see certain negative things that have happened in his private and personal life and he has always reacted well.

"The debate is over now. In terms of preparation, this is obviously not ideal.

"But it comes with the territory. You have to take on responsibilities and handle certain moments.

"The only way to convince people about us is to do everything right and then win the game.

"There are only so many times you can tell everyone we believe we can win it."

Source: Team_Talk