• World Cup qualifying

Lampard hoping for Olympic inspiration against Ukraine

ESPN staff
September 9, 2012

Frank Lampard is hoping England can take some inspiration from Team GB's medal-winning athletes at Wembley on Tuesday, when Ukraine visit in a World Cup qualifier.

Lampard addressed the media in a press conference on Sunday, where he reacted to news that John Terry will miss the visit of the Ukrainians. In the Chelsea man's eyes, England have ample cover for his club colleague.

"Obviously it's a big blow, John's a top player and he has experience in these qualifying games. We are blessed with fantastic back-up though in the likes of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka," Lampard said. "Whoever comes in is an experienced, top player."

A total of 15 GB athletes will be present at Wembley and will be presented to the crowd as the legacy from the London 2012 Games extends to the wider sporting world. The likes of gold medal winner Anthony Joshua will be in attendance, and Lampard believes it could bring the best out of England.

"It's a nice touch to link up Team GB and the England team," he said. "I am sure they will get a fantastic reception at half-time when they come on. The whole Olympics and Paralympics has been a big success and we can all be inspired by what they have done."

Lampard is relatively fresh to Roy Hodgson's England setup after he missed Euro 2012, and he has been impressed by the atmosphere created within the camp. He also alluded to the balance of experience and youth in the squad, as well as the ease at which he and Steven Gerrard operated in Friday's 5-0 demolition of Moldova.

"It feels like a nice blend, you've got the old lads with the experience and the young lads bring freshness and quality," Lampard said. "We saw the impact of [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain and [Tom] Cleverley, and there's more to come.

"We hope we can help them when we can, but at the same time it's great to see players with technical ability, youthfulness and confidence come in and hopefully it helps the blend of the team."

Focusing on his often maligned partnership with Gerrard, Lampard continued: "The manager gives us the license to arrive like we do for our clubs. It's up to us to be mature and I think we both enjoyed the other night and we'll try to keep doing that."

Lampard's brace against Moldova took him to 25 international goals, meaning he is close to overtaking Bryan Robson and David Platt in the goalscoring list. For Lampard, that would carry special meaning.

"I grew up watching those guys and I was a big fan of the pair of them. Bryan Robson, and what he gave to England, and David Platt - I always remember the goal he scored against Belgium at Italia '90, so I'm very proud to be only one or two goals behind those two."

Full list of athletes due to attend England v Ukraine:
Karina Bryant (Judo) Bronze medal winner
Steven Burke (Cycling) Gold medal winner
Luke Campbell (Boxing) Gold medal winner
William Fox-Pitt (Equestrian) Silver medal winner
Gemma Gibbons (Judo) Silver medal winner
Helen Glover (Rowing) Gold medal winner
Philip Hindes (Cycling) Gold medal winner
Richard Hounslow (Canoe Slalom) Silver medal winner
Anthony Joshua (Boxing) Gold medal winner
Ben Maher (Equestrian) Gold medal winner
Lutalo Muhammad (Taekwondo) Bronze medal winner
Anthony Ogogo (Boxing) Bronze medal winner
Andrew Simpson (Sailing) Silver medal winner
Heather Stanning (Rowing) Gold medal winner
Peter Wilson (Shooting) Gold medal winner

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