Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fearless Youngsters Have Revitalised Side; Veteran Lampard Hails Emerging Crop of England Players

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fearless Youngsters Have Revitalised Side; Veteran Lampard Hails Emerging Crop of England Players

Article excerpt

FRANK LAMPARD believes the current crop of young England players play with "no fear" compared to when he began his international c reer more than a decade ago.

Lampard feels there is now more accent on youth being given its chance on the senior stage by head coach Roy Hodgson.

The Chelsea midfielder is impressed with the free-spirited way the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley have adapted to playing for their country.

Lampard also points to a freshness about the squad thanks to the young blood being mixed with the core of experienced players ahead of tomorrow's World Cup qualifier with Ukraine at Wembley.

He said: "I have certainly noticed that younger players are getting more of a chance compared to when I first got in the squad.

"Maybe there was a case then of going with the tried and trusted and that is understandable because results are at a premium for England managers.

"I think we have a crop of players now who play with less fear than we did when we came through.

"Even though Tom Cleverley has not played many games, the games he has played are with Manchester United in the Champions League and Team GB at the Olympics.

"It means players such as Tom and Alex are much more capable or arriving on the scene at such a young age.

"The good thing about those two is they are good players but they take it very easily and don't seem fazed at all. They are very confident without being bullish or arrogant about it.

"We have talked about it before but confidence is such a huge part of the game, and when your confidence is down as a team and an individual, you can't play at your top level.

"We all know you are in the spotlight when you play for your country and there are going to be times when you have ups and downs. That is natural."

Lampard admits to enjoying mixing with the younger brigade of players.

He said: "I know it is commonly said that this is the best spirit we have had, but there is a nice freshness about the young boys at meal times and around the hotel.

"I actually enjoy mixing with them, it makes me feel a bit younger when you mix together. …

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