Lampard yet to decide his future

The Northern Echo: Frank Lampard Frank Lampard

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson hopes Frank Lampard will refrain from definitively retiring from international football.

The 36-year-old midfielder will captain a side comprised of squad players and young talents against Costa Rica today.

Lampard has yet to feature at this tournament after playing every minute of England’s previous two World Cup campaigns, with some suggesting his 106th cap may also be his last.

The former Chelsea midfielder remains coy on his future for both club and country, although Hodgson hopes he will not permanently close the door on the latter.

The Three Lions boss has not gone as far as asking Lampard to stay on, like he has done with captain Steven Gerrard, two years his junior, but would be keen for him to remain available for selection.

“We don’t know as yet what his next destination is,”

Hodgson said. “I would be more than happy if Frank remains available for selection because you never know when you need players.

“A quality player like him I am sure he could serve the country well even in the future, but I haven’t had that conversation with him as such as yet.

“I have talked to him more about his future plans and I’m pretty sure that, if we said to him, ‘The chances are you might not feature quite so much but please don’t retire, please be available’, well I think Frank is one of those guys who would say, ‘You can always count on me if you need me’.”

Like Gerrard, the 36-yearold will not be broaching the subject of his future until returning home from the tournament.

Lampard is without a club after ending his 13-year association with Chelsea before flying out to Brazil, where he wants to leave on Tuesday evening with a little pride restored against Costa Rica.

“It is possible (to pick ourselves up) and it’s certainly a good test of character,” Lampard said. “It’s been a tough few days. We came here to do better than what’s turned out to do.

“Now we are in a situation where we have to show we’re men.

“Wayne (Rooney), Steven (Gerrard), Joe (Hart) have all said we’re disappointed, but as grown men, as grown-ups, we have to move on.

“This is about showing the pride of wearing an England shirt, whether it’s a friendly or a game like this.

“It would be very easy to roll over and say it hasn’t been our tournament, let’s go home with three defeats.

“If we can take anything from this tournament it’s been the progression behind the scenes and hopefully a result tomorrow.”

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