LAMPARD: READY AND ENJOYING IT
Frank Lampard hopes to be involved in both England games during this international break as he approaches the 100-cap mark.
The midfielder has represented his country 94 times but having seen Steven Gerrard and Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole reach a century for England over the past few months, Lampard would like to be next , but is taking nothing for granted as he prepares for important fixtures away to San Marino and Montenegro.
'I'm here and ready to be involved, hopefully in both games. I'm pleased with the amount of games I've played and I'll keep trying to keep going and see if I can pick up some more caps,' he said on Tuesday.
'I watched Steven do it, I watched Ashley do it now and I've been in the squad for a long time for those boys. It's a very proud moment for any player that reaches that. On the flip side, having played 94 times now if it all ended today I'd be very proud of what I've done for England. Without wanting to look six caps ahead, I'll try and go game by game. If I did get there I'd be a very proud man.
'I do enjoy it, particularly in the last year or two of my career. As you get older you understand it won't go on forever so I do really appreciate playing for my country as much as ever, even more so maybe, I really do enjoy coming, I enjoy playing.
'My body reacts better to staying training and playing and keeping on top of myself. Whether it's Chelsea or England, I'm enjoying both at the minute so it's good for me.'
Now 34, Lampard has always maintained he is at his best when playing consistently. It has meant adapting the way he trains, much like Cole and Gerrard, and Rio Ferdinand, who has withdrawn from the squad to manage his own fitness schedule at Manchester United.
'I used to train harder as a young kid and had the capacity to do so without feeling it would affect me in games. As you get older maybe [you do] a bit less of that and have more awareness of how to rest and maintain yourself,' Lampard explained. 'It comes with the territory. I don't think you can prolong yourself like Ryan Giggs has done without getting passed the 30-mark and looking at it from a slightly different angle.
'Every individual is different. I've always found it better for me to keep playing regularly. I don't like taking breaks or going on holidays during the season but you make your decisions based on how you feel.'
With 18 goals for club and country this season, Lampard has the 20-mark in his sights once more, and is hoping to add to his 27 England goals in the forthcoming fixtures.
'I always set my sights on scoring consistently,' he said. 'I've been lucky to do so over a number of years, and I'd like to get them and for them to be important goals. I'm pleased considering I had an injury for a couple of months that I've managed to get there. When I'm at my best and most confident I can score regularly.'
England are second in their World Cup qualifying group. Victory over San Marino is expected, as Lampard accepts, before a potentially decisive trip to the group leaders Montenegro.
'We're expected to win against San Marino. It's a game to be professional,' he said. 'You don't get much credit whatever the result, you're expected to win comfortably. By being professional and disciplined with the quality we have in our team, we want to get the right result.
'With Montenegro top of the group, us in second and going away we're aware how tough that game is out there. It's imperative we do our utmost to get the right results in both games. I believe in the squad and players we have.'