Lampard: Timing of England friendly 'not ideal'
Frank Lampard is happy to return his focus to Chelsea after a disappointing World Cup campaign and admits England's friendly with Hungary next week is 'not ideal'.
The Wembley clash next Wednesday comes in the week the Blues begin their Premier League title defence and the scheduling has been criticised by managers including Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.
Lampard is pleased to be back with the Blues after the World Cup, although his preparations for the August 14 encounter with West Brom are set to be punctuated by the England friendly.
"I have got to be honest, the disappointing summer is not affecting the Chelsea side,'' said Lampard in the Guardian. "Of course, we are disappointed with England but it is almost a breath of fresh air to come back to Chelsea. We won the double last year and that is a nice feeling. There is no niggling mental effect from the World Cup at all. When the England games come then we will approach that but in terms of Chelsea, I think it is exciting to be back.''
Lampard acknowledged England's friendly with Hungary is important as Fabio Capello's side begin preparations for the 2012 European Championships qualification campaign, but said the timing was not convenient for clubs.
"It's obviously not an ideal situation,'' he added in the Sun. "I've only been back in pre-season training for a week and a half and a lot of clubs are having the same problems with their World Cup players. All the teams want to get players fit for the start of the season. But England also need to prepare for the European Championship qualifying games. Right now I'm just excited to be back at Chelsea. But the Hungary match has always been there on the calendar so as a professional playing for your country you go and you play.''