KEIR RADNEDGE in BELO HORIZONTE: Frank Lampard, England’s latest World Cup captain, has words of advice ready for any of the new youngsters who may feel overwhelmed by depression sparked by the five-day failure in Brazil.
Lampard, who is leaving Chelsea this summer after a stellar career at Stamford Bridge, has yet to make any decision on whether he will remain available for England.
However, in the squad or out of it, he knows exactly how his successors should deal with the instant-exit fall-out.
Lampard said: “We had a lot negative stuff after Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010 but I think this time people can see the direction we’re going in.
“I’d always be happy to talk to the younger players. You have to take things on the chin and learn very quickly. If they get negative stuff next season it quickly fizzles out as long as they apply themselves.”
He felt positive about England’s future because of the outstanding quality of emergent young players.
As for himself, Lampard did not believe the last few days would outweight his proud memories of more than a decade representing England.
He said: “Of course it’s difficult at the moment because we’re all very disappointed. But as a kid I could never have imagined playing one game for England let alone 100 or more so that overrides all the disappointments.
“We all dream of winning the World Cup or European Championship and it hasn’t been for the want of trying. But that’s football and, unfortunately, we have come up short at different times.”
A further repeat today against a Costa Rica already qualified for the second round was not worth contemplating.
Lampard said: “It’s a good test of character. It’s been a a tough few days but, as grown-ups, you have to move on so we’re here to show our pride in wearing an England shirt.”
England’s team, as announced by manager Roy Hodgson, will feature at least seven changes from the line-ups beaten by Italy and Uruguay. Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, injured before the tournament, had aggravated his knee injury in training and will not feature.
England: Foster – Jones, Cahill, Smalling, Shaw – Milner, Lampard, Wilshere, Barkley, Lallana – Sturridge.