Lamps - Place must be earned
Midfielder determined to keep meeting international demands
Last Updated: September 9, 2012 8:11pm
Frank Lampard insists he has never taken his place in the England set-up for granted and appreciates that there will be times when he is overlooked.
The Chelsea midfielder made his senior debut back in 1999, but has overcome several international hurdles since then.
He did not become a regular member of the squad until Euro 2004 and has seen his place regularly called into question.
Lampard has, however, been among the more consistent performers for his country down the years and has been included in Roy Hodgson's plans on the road to the 2014 World Cup.
He may be 34 years of age, but his vast experience and undoubted quality in the middle of the park have ensured that he remains an important part of the present and future.
Not that he will be resting on his laurels after netting a brace in a 5-0 victory over Moldova on Friday, with Lampard having been around long enough to know that no-one is guaranteed a starting berth.
He said: "I've always been here, sometimes on the bench in recent times, and it is part of being a strong squad.
"I've always been here, sometimes on the bench in recent times, and it is part of being a strong squad."
Frank Lampard Quotes of the week
"You can't always have it your own way, you can't expect to start every game.
"I've stayed playing because I enjoy it and feel I can contribute and I'm just pleased to be back at the stage of the other night when I'm contributing and we are winning games.
"As you get older, I think your game changes. There are certain games when you don't feel so good but I had those when I was 24 as well. That is just being a footballer sometimes.
"There are days when you wake up and don't feel as sharp but if you do the right thing, train, prepare, live right, you can prolong a career for sure.
"You see that more and more with modern day players and with experience you change your game anyway and I'm sure my game is different to when I was 24.
"My position on the pitch dictates that sometimes, and what the manager wants you to do. But I still try and do it as well as I possibly can."