Chelsea's Lampard loving England duty

21 May 2013 07:16

Frank Lampard admits he has learned to love England.

The Chelsea midfielder is expected to be named captain for at least one of the two forthcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil. With 95 caps to his name, it would be a major surprise if the 34-year-old did not become the Three Lions' latest centurion at some point in the autumn, when England will be looking to book their place at the 2014 World Cup.

Yet, Lampard accepts international duty has not always been something to relish, telling TalkSPORT: "I've grown more in love with England as I've got older. When I was mid-England career and took a bit of stick, I didn't enjoy it."

He added: "I don't think you can if you go to Wembley and get a bit of stick and go to World Cups and we weren't playing well. That's not me moaning about it, we didn't perform so it comes with the territory. As I've got older I think my appreciation of playing for my country has risen - it doesn't go on forever - and I really enjoy it at the minute."

Lampard is one of six players in Roy Hodgson's squad about to feature in the two post-season friendlies between Chelsea and Manchester City now midfielder Jack Rodwell has been called up.

Rodwell, who won the last of his two caps in November 2011, has been added to Hodgson's squad amid fears Manchester United's Tom Cleverley, who has been involved in every game this season, will miss out because of a calf injury.

The Republic encounter at Wembley on May 29 is particularly significant as it will be their first meeting with England since 1995, when a friendly in Dublin had to be abandoned due to rioting by the visiting supporters.

An anti-IRA song 'No Surrender' continues to be sung by England fans and after escaping a charge for the alleged behaviour of their supporters in San Marino recently, the Football Association are desperate to avoid more controversy.

Although he will not specifically mention which songs, Press Association Sport understands coach Roy Hodgson will urge fans not to sing 'offensive political and religious songs', both in his programme notes for next Wednesday's game and also in an e-mail to ticket holders.

In addition to his plea to avoid certain songs, Hodgson will also praise England supporters for their exemplary behaviour at recent tournaments.

Source: PA