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Lampard eyes century of caps

19 Mar 2013 07:15:00

Lampard eyes century of caps

Frank Lampard hopes to reach a century of England appearances after netting 200 goals for Chelsea at the weekend.

The 34-year-old midfielder reached his double century of goals in the 2-0 defeat of his former club West Ham which took the Blues to third in the Barclays Premier League ahead of the international break.

Chelsea face six matches in 16 days following the internationals, but Lampard is now focused on England duty, with six more appearances required to reach 100 caps. "I'm really enjoying the England thing," said Lampard, who is in the squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro.

"You really appreciate it as you get older every time you play for them. "I'm enjoying being a part of it. It's a very happy, comfortable squad with Roy [Hodgson] in charge. "It's 94 (caps). But six caps in international football is still a relatively long way.

So I'll take it cap by cap." Lampard showed few signs of age catching up with him against the Hammers and he is relishing the finale of a season which could be his last at Stamford Bridge, with his contract set to expire this summer. Despite the Blues facing such intense fixture demands, Lampard is happy with the busy schedule. "As I've got a bit older I've found I feel better when I play regularly and keep training," he said.

"If I had a week in Dubai I'd probably stiffen up and take three weeks to get back. So I much prefer staying involved and staying fit." Lampard is renowned for timing his arrival in the area to devastating effect and Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has encouraged the midfielder to get forward, even from his deep-lying role. It is a role he adapted to en-route to the Champions League success under Benitez's predecessor, Roberto Di Matteo.

"With experience you can play the deeper role and try to arrive at just the right time, a bit less often but with a bit more effect," Lampard said. "I think I probably learned to play this way when Di Matteo came in in the run-up to the Champions League final. "I've developed a bit more and now I'm able to play deeper and still arrive in the area." Lampard has 14 goals this term, 12 in the Premier League, and requires three more to surpass Bobby Tambling as Chelsea's record goalscorer.

"The goals record is certainly something I'm proud of because I didn't think I'd get anywhere near 200 when I signed," said Lampard, who has not spoken to Tambling recently. "If there was ever a man I'd love to catch or even be level with it's Bobby because he's a top man. "He's a great, great man who has always been very supportive of me."


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