Lam­pard tries to calm the wa­ters

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

FrAnk Lam­pard in­sists there has been no “cri­sis” meet­ing with Fabio Capello and wants him to stay as Eng­land coach even if their World Cup cam­paign comes to a pre­ma­ture end.

the mid­fielder was pa­raded be­fore the me­dia to try and dif­fuse the im­pact of Chelsea team-mate John terry’s com­ments 24 hours ear­lier.

terry claimed the play­ers were go­ing to air their views on what they felt needed to change to re­vive eng­land’s hopes of reach­ing the last 16 af­ter a be­low-par per­for­mance against al­ge­ria.

But lam­pard is adamant a DVD re-run of the goal­less draw was all that was on the agenda when the squad gath­ered with Capello and his staff at the team ho­tel on Sun­day night.

How­ever, Capello did stray from his nor­mal ap­proach when he an­nounced Matthew up­son will play along­side terry in cen­tral de­fence against Slove­nia.

lam­pard, though, tried to play down the im­pact of terry’s out­burst as the thoughts of a player who has pas­sion to play for his coun­try and does not want to make an early exit from the tour­na­ment.

and lam­pard hopes Capello will re­main at the helm even if eng­land lose to Slove­nia in Port el­iz­a­beth to­mor­row and have to head for home.

lam­pard said: “I saw some of his com­ments and John is very pas­sion­ate as are all 23 mem­bers of this squad. He has been here a long time and is an ex­pe­ri­enced player.

“He was talk­ing about be­ing 100 per cent be­hind the man­ager, that the team wanted to turn it around.

“one of us gets put up ev­ery day to speak and John was try­ing to con­vey the mes­sage that we are go­ing to fight and try and turn things around.”

lam­pard, who was 32 on Sun­day, added: “I don’t like talk­ing about meet­ings be­cause the rea­son we have meet­ings to­gether is so they can stay in-house.

“But it cer­tainly wasn’t a cri­sis meet­ing. the man­ager spoke, we watched some of the al­ge­rian game which wasn’t the best.

“We had a look at things that we need to put right - and that was it.

“In terms of team se­lec­tions and tac­tics, I’ve al­ways grown up in foot­ball where the man­ager dic­tates those sort of things.

“If you want to speak to him, that’s fair enough, but it is the man­ager’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to get the best out of his play­ers and pick the team.”

lam­pard be­lieves

it is un­fair terry has been por­trayed as a traitor and lead­ing a mutiny against Capello and stressed the need to fo­cus on to­mor­row’s game.

He said: “It is dis­ap­point­ing. I don’t see any­one out here try­ing to win the World Cup and rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try can be branded a traitor.

“We are foot­ballers and when the pol­i­tics and the off-the-pitch stuff start tak­ing over ev­ery­thing then there is some­thing a lit­tle bit wrong.

“We have to be con­cen­trated now on the game and what we do on the pitch.

“I try not to pay too much at­ten­tion to what is writ­ten or said.

“I don’t know how ev­ery­one deals with it but as a group we have to stay strong and try not to let out­side in­flu­ences af­fect how you per­form.”

lam­pard has im­mense re­spect for Capello and would like him to re­main in charge what­ever eng­land achieve in South africa.

He said: “I’ve re­ally en­joyed work­ing with him, I’ve re­spected ev­ery­thing about him and yes, I would like him to stay.

“It’s a ques­tion for him and the Fa but I’ve been lucky enough to work with some fan­tas­tic man­agers, and Fabio Capello is right up there.”

HE’S HAV­InG A LAUGH: Frank Lam­pard at yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence.

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