Ancelotti: Terry and Lampard should keep England places

COBHAM - Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti wants John Terry and Frank Lampard to play for England for as long as possible and sees no benefit to his team if their international careers end.

Ancelotti, who had a 10-year-long international playing career with Italy, said he was surprised that a debate had even started about their futures with England.

But it did begin after both missed England's opening Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland, which ended in convincing 4-0 and 3-1 wins for their "other" Italian manager, Fabio Capello, England's coach.

Unlike other coaches like Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson who make no secret they prefer it when their key players are not involved in international action, Ancelotti said he had no problems as far as his players are concerned.

"It would not be a benefit to Chelsea," he told a news briefing at the club's training complex in the leafy Surrey countryside.

"Terry and Lampard still have the desire to play for England and I think next time they will be ready to play for the national team.

"It is no problem with them getting injured, they are part of the England team."

Terry, who has won 65 caps and scored six goals since making his international debut in the centre of defence in 2003, missed the two internationals because of a hamstring injury.

Lampard, who has won 83 caps and scored 20 goals from midfield, needed a hernia operation recently which kept him sidelined.

GREATER FREEDOM

However, their replacements did well, with first Michael Dawson and then Phil Jagielka helping to hold the back line.

Newcomer Adam Johnson's inclusion in midfield and a deeper lying role from Wayne Rooney suggested that the long-running debate about Lampard and Steven Gerrard playing together for England could finally be put to bed.

Gerrard seemed to thrive without Lampard, playing more like he does for Liverpool with greater freedom.

The debate about Terry's inclusion is less clearcut as he is still regarded as the natural partner for Rio Ferdinand at the heart of England's defence.

Ferdinand has been out injured since June but is likely to return to the international side when he makes his comeback for Manchester United within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile Ancelotti said Terry was fit to face West Ham United when the Premier League resumes after a two-week break on Saturday but Lampard would not return until Chelsea play MSK Zilina in the Champions League next week at the earliest.

"Lampard needs more time to rest, he trained this week, he recovered very well but he needs more time. He will miss Saturday's game but maybe play in the Champions League next week."

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