Lamps hoping to light up World Cup
Frank Lampard has vowed to make his last World Cup one to remember for England and hopes his experience could be a factor for the Three Lions. The Chelsea midfielder, who will be 32 later this month, concedes this will almost certainly be his last appearance on football's biggest stage. He is determined to make up for the disappointment of 2006 in Germany when, by his own admission, he failed to fire on all cylinders before England lost in the quarter-finals to Portugal. But Lampard admits there is a confidence because of the knowledge in the squad acquired in past tournaments - via the likes of himself, Steven Gerrard and John Terry. He said: "The confidence in ourselves is quite similar to four years ago when there was the same kind of build-up pre-Germany. "A lot of us are maybe more confident in a way because of the experience of having been there. "I certainly feel better for my years of experience in club football and at international level. "But, by the same token, we know how difficult a difficult a competition this is. "People can fancy our chances and we're very settled in our minds but we have to go out and perform." Lampard admitted: "That last World Cup wasn't great for me personally, and wasn't fantastic for the team. "We got knocked out in the quarter-finals yet again. You don't get that many World Cups in your career and this could possibly be my last, in fact probably my last. "I want to look back and say I was part of a team that was successful and have been personally successful as well. "If it is the last one I play, we'll put everything in there to make sure it's as good as it can be." Lampard is aware of the importance of England making a winning start to their group when they take on the United States in Rustenburg tomorrow. He said: "I think they'll be very organised. It will be a very big game for them. There'll be a certain rivalry considering the players they have who play in the Premier League. "It'll be a tough game. The first one always is. Considering we're playing the strongest team in our group, other than us hopefully, then I think it'll make for a tight game. "It's one you want to win to put yourself in a strong position. "But I have seen many a game in tournaments before when that first game doesn't go as you expected and teams are a bit cagey. "We can't think about it as the be all and end all and just have to prepare for the game." Gerrard will skipper the side in the absence of the injured Rio Ferdinand - the 10th player to lead England in a World Cup finals. Lampard, who has replaced the Liverpool midfield as vice-captain, insists Gerrard will have the full respect of the players. He said: "The England captaincy is a huge thing for anybody who holds it, especially in a big tournament like this. "Steven has got that quiet way kind of quiet way off the pitch and everyone respects him for that and when he plays, he plays with a lot of inspiration and he's a guy to look up to."
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