Lampard: Tried and tested can save England

RUSTENBURG - England must reproduce the pace and passion that is synonymous with the Premier League if they are to beat Slovenia in their Group C showdown on Wednesday, vice-captain Frank Lampard said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters at England's Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus training base for possibly the last time, Lampard steered clear of calling for a change of tactics, but suggested that his Chelsea team mate Joe Cole may be brought into the team.

He stressed that England had to concentrate again on "the basics of the game for us" in a fixture in Port Elizabeth they must win to ensure qualification for the second round.

Asked what needed to change, following last Friday's uninspiring 0-0 draw with Algeria in Cape Town, where they were booed off the field by their own fans, Lampard said: "Quite a few things from the other night, to be honest.

"For me personally, we play in the best league in the world, the Premier League, and we have to play with that pace and passion that we have every week at home.


"We don't have a South American style. We have to press teams and to play with a lot of energy and be very direct. I think we didn't do that the other night. It's the basics of the game for us."

Unexpectedly, he also supported former captain John Terry's assertion made on Sunday that, of the 23 players in the England squad, only striker Wayne Rooney and utility forward Joe Cole had the rare ability to unlock a defence at the highest level.

Terry's suggestion was seen as a criticism of the other forward players, including midfielder Lampard, 31.

But instead of reacting as if upset by his Chelsea team mate's comments, Lampard said: "I don't think John meant it like that and, in what he is saying, I think he is right. They have a special ability. He is right.

"They have something extra. I don't think you should take it too literally, what he said.

"I am not knocking John's door down and saying 'so, you don't think I can unlock a defence!' I took no offence. It was not meant like that at all."

Manager Fabio Capello is expected to make several changes to the team that under-performed badly in Cape Town.

His only enforced change will be to bring in central defender Matthew Upson to replace the suspended Jamie Carragher as Terry's third different partner in successive games, following injuries to ex-captain Rio Ferdinand and his replacement Ledley King.

If Cole is picked to start, it is expected to be at the expense of striker Emile Heskey and would herald a change of style with captain Steven Gerrard moved forward to support Rooney.

Cole would then play on the left of a four-man midfield with licence to roam.

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