Frank Lampard expects England boss Fabio Capello to make the correct decision when selecting Emile Heskey or Jermain Defoe.
Chelsea star recognises tough decision over strikers
England midfielder Frank Lampard is confident manager Fabio Capello will make the correct decision when selecting between Emile Heskey or Jermain Defoe.
The Three Lions face Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday in a World Cup qualifier and a win would guarantee a place in the finals in South Africa in 2010.
Capello has a welcome selection headache ahead of the fixture where he must choose between Heskey, who has started recent matches, and substitute Defoe.
Tottenham star Defoe is in form after scoring five times in his last three internationals and there have been calls for the forward to be promoted above Heskey to the first XI.
Lampard, who was at West Ham with Defoe earlier in their careers, recognises the strengths of both players, and has backed Capello to make the right decision, telling a press conference live on Sky Sports News
: "The question is the manager's decision.
"We all have faith in the manager. He has shown in his career, and now, that he makes the right decisions, more than not.
"I think both players have made great cases. Jermain has made the headlines because of his goalscoring.
"I've known Jermain since he was 16 years of age and knew he was going to go to the top because he is a natural goalscorer and that doesn't come around that often.
"Emile has made a great case constantly in the way he has played for England for a very long time.
"So the manager has a great option there for two different styles and it depends on the manager's decision which way it goes."
Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Lampard has laughed off the claims from Croatia boss Slaven Bilic, who he was also at West Ham with during the 1996/97 season, that the current England side lack an 'Englishness' under Capello.
"I think Slaven is a very clever manager, a clever man, and he is saying things, probably, to get his own team worked up, to get them ready for the game," said the 31-year-old.
"Maybe it is things to get in our heads. It is very important we don't let all the talk affect us. We have to concentrate on getting ready for the game and playing.
"Certainly, the way we are playing at the moment, there is a confidence, there is a strength and a spirit in the team."
When pushed on the subject of 'Englishness', he added: "I don't understand what that means. We are an English team trying to win games. I don't know what 'missing Englishness' means."
Lampard is also determined to help erase the memory of the infamous defeat to Croatia at Wembley which meant England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
"It was a very low point for all of us, individually and as a group. We won't forget that and will use it as a positive," he said.
"We need to keep cool heads, keep calm, but also show passion and desire to win the game. There certainly won't be tackles anyone is pulling out of."