Lampard tries to calm the waters
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.”
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.