CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: LAMPARD - BACK IN THE USA
Frank Lampard, fully recovered from the thigh strain that denied him a place in the England squad for Euro 2012, is part of the party that flies to the United States today [Saturday]. The vice-captain spoke to Chelsea TV ahead of the trip.
Lampard's last competitive game was the Champions League Final victory but he is far from settling for that from his illustrious career, especially with his club's goalscoring record in reach. And to make the most of the season ahead, the 34-year-old knows the work leading up to it in the weeks beforehand is highly important. America, he says, is good venue for part of it.
'It is a nice trip,' he told the club's own channel.
'We did it a few times in the Jose Mourinho days particularly and with Carlo Ancelotti once and the people are very welcoming there. There are Chelsea fans there as well and the games are great for us and it is an interesting trip. We can slip off now and again for own bit of time and I think all the lads are looking forward to it.
'Football there is big now,' he added. 'I have been out there on holiday recently and people recognise you. They have a team they support and they watch the games on telly. When we started going out there seven or eight years ago it wasn't so much like that, but the fact the Premier League is the best league in the world, people who do like soccer as they call it are getting into it.
'I watched the Euro 2012 final out there in a pub/bar and the atmosphere was brilliant. You could see that the people have taken to footbal.'
It will be the first time Chelsea have headed to the States as European champions which might lead to even greater interest. It is hard not to keep thinking back to the events of May in Munich but Lampard is focusing forward too.
'There is certainly no time to rest on our laurels. Our league form wasn't good enough last season, we weren't consistent enough, and that is something that we have to put right.
'We need to take the Champions League victory and the FA Cup victory as a platform to more rather than settling for that and not pushing on as a club. I am sure with the personnel we have got here, the new signings and the way this club is run, we will keep striving for more.'
Lampard, on 186 Chelsea goals, is just seven behind Kerry Dixon's total and 16 off the all-time record held by Bobby Tambling. It is certainly not impossible he could overtake those in one season but is that firmly in his mind?
'Yes and no. Records are nice and the collective thing is nice as always. The good thing for me was I got the final part of the jigsaw in terms of team trophies and to win the Champions League and the way we did it, for me it was the greatest triumph by an English team in Europe in recent years. Liverpool [in 2005] was amazing as a final but our run that we put together was absolutely incredible so I am just delighted with that. Obviously I want to carry on being personally successful but more importantly than that be a successful part of the team.'
>>See the games in the States live on Chelsea TV.