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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lampard hoping to bow out on a high

Frank Lampard has accepted 2014 will likely mark the end of his international career and he is hopeful the Three Lions take a crucial step towards World Cup qualification with a win over Ukraine on Tuesday to prolong his involvement with England.

Frank Lampard celebrates his equaliser for England against Ireland
Lampard will make his 100th appearance for England on Tuesday. 

The Chelsea midfielder will earn his 100th cap for England during the match in Kiev, but could announce his retirement if Roy Hodgson's side fail to qualify for next year's tournament.

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Lampard was coy about his chances of calling it quits after Brazil but he conceded this could be his final chance to make an impact for England on the global stage.

"Realistically, I think this will be my last year," he said. "I would love us to get to Brazil because it would prolong the year, and it would be great for me to go out there.

"I don't want to say 'I'll retire' because the minute I say that it's there waiting to happen, but younger players are coming through and, at 36, not too many play on at international level.

"But I'd hate to go out in the autumn [if England fail to qualify]. I enjoy being with this group of players and working with the manager, and I have a lot of respect for him. England, as a whole, want to get to the World Cup so I wouldn't want to go out like that.

"We'll go into the Ukraine game to win it. If we lose it we'd have to remain upbeat for the two home games next month and try to win them. A lot of big teams qualify through the play-offs and then go on to do really well at tournaments. It's not how you get there, it's just the fact of getting there."

Meanwhile, striker Rickie Lambert admits he is still thrilled after earning his second England call-up as he prepares for a certain start against Ukraine given Daniel Sturridge's injury.

"I scratch my head and think 'I'm playing for England', it's very surreal," he said. "I do it all the time. I'm playing with the players I've looked up to all my career.

"It's beyond any imagination what's happening at the minute, but I'm trying to stay cool, I'm trying to do what's important, and that's trying to do well when the kick-off starts.

"I've tried to give the manager a different option and I've got another chance to impress again on Tuesday and that's what I'll be trying to do.

"I feel like I have to impress, in training and in the game. Thankfully I managed to score against Moldova, so hopefully that's given him a different option and I'm hoping there's more to come."


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