Lampard defends England performance
Frank Lampard insists England's 1-1 draw with Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday night should not be viewed as a disappointing result for Roy Hodgson's men, even though there has been widespread condemnation of the performance in the English media.
Lampard's penalty - his 26th goal for his country - salvaged a point from a qualifier that appeared to be heading in the direction of Oleg Blokhin's men and yet the experienced Chelsea midfielder suggests a haul of four points from their first two World Cup qualifiers is a decent return for England.
"These qualifying games are not easy and getting a point is a good result considering we were 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go," Lampard told reporters after the game. "You obviously want to win your home games, but when you consider we had a goal disallowed and we hit the post, the lads showed great character to get a point."
After missing the Euro 2012 finals due to injury, Lampard has re-emerged as a key figure in England's plans in the build-up to the Brazil 2014 and believes he can play a full role in the next major championships, even though he will be approaching his 36th birthday by the time the next World Cup rolls around.
"Things have changed for me in the England set-up and now I'm seen as one of the more experienced players and have even got used to being called a veteran," he says. "It's a little different to what I have been used to down the years, but these things tend to creep up on you.
"I know I may not start every game and will not have it all my own way at this stage of my career, but I'm always available to play for England and I want to be a part of another World Cup."