Lampard backs England to use Euro 2008 failure as motivation for World Cup
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes England will use their hunger for silverware and their absence from Euro 2008 as reason for motivation in the crucial World Cup qualifying game against Poland on Tuesday. England will host Poland at the Wembley Stadium in a game that could see England out of the competition if they fail reach the top two positions in the group.
England’s dream to play in Euro 2008 came to a premature end when the Three Lions fell to an embarrassing 3-2 defeat at the hands of Croatia back in November 2007. The defeat led to axe of then coach Steve McClaren and a hazing from the media.
Lampard admits the defeat still brings sorrowful memories, but he is going to use them to his advantage this time. The English veteran understands that the Three Lions are in a do-or-die position in Group H. Roy Hodgson’s side must win on order to play in the World Cup in Brazil next year.
“I try not to think about that night too much,” Lampard said. “You remember the bad nights as much as the good ones.”
England has only a one point lead going into the battle with Poland, which is why Hodgson and Co. need to win this game. If that’s not the case then second-placed Ukraine will thrash minnows San Marino to enter top of the table.
For Lampard the stakes couldn’t be higher since it would the last opportunity for veterans such as him to play for England in the World Cup.
“Brazil is one of the homes of football,” Lampard said. “We believe we are the home of football, but you have to admire their history and the flamboyance they have over there.
“We played there in the summer and you could feel the magic around the place. If you are playing for your country you want to be at the World Cup there and that's why it's a huge game on Tuesday.
“There is a lot of desire. Me and Stevie (Gerrard) have been here a long time and I think that is pushing us on.”
Poland cannot qualify for the World Cup, but Lampard has warned his team against surprises from Waldemar Forenalik’s team. Lampard is of the belief that a team with nothing to lose can bring havoc onto its opponents.
“I believe we will hold our nerve,” Lampard said. “I would like to think now we have the confidence and the threats we have going forward that we can make it a different night (to the Croatia one).
“Everyone loves playing at Wembley and they have some big-name players in their team so they will want to come here and put on a show regardless of whether they have qualified or not. They will be relaxed and we have to make sure we have the extra edge as we need the win to go to Brazil. We need to come out firing on Tuesday no matter what they do.”