• World Cup

Lampard keen to avoid Croatia repeat

ESPN staff
October 13, 2013
ESPN FC: England edge closer to Brazil

Frank Lampard will use England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008 as added motivation when they host Poland in a crucial World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday.

England suffered a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in November 2007, which cost them a place at the tournament co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and led to the sacking of then-manager Steve McClaren.

Although Lampard admits he has tried to put that result to the back of his mind, England's older heads will be able to call on their do-or-die experience as Roy Hodgson's side look to secure top spot in Group H.

"I try not to think about that night too much," he said. "You remember the bad nights as much as the good ones."

England take a one point lead into the Poland clash but are expected to require a win to progress as second-placed Ukraine meet point-less San Marino.

The stakes are even higher for veterans Lampard and Steven Gerrard, with the Chelsea midfielder conceding this will be his last chance to make a World Cup appearance.

"Brazil is one of the homes of football," Lampard said. "We believe we are the home of football, but you have to admire their history and the flamboyance they have over there.

"We played there in the summer and you could feel the magic around the place. If you are playing for your country you want to be at the World Cup there and that's why it's a huge game on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of desire. Me and Stevie [Gerrard] have been here a long time and I think that is pushing us on."

Poland can no longer qualify for Brazil and Lampard is cautious Waldemar Forenalik's side, who have nothing to lose, could be dangerous.

"I believe we will hold our nerve," said Lampard. "I would like to think now we have the confidence and the threats we have going forward that we can make it a different night (to the Croatia one).

"Everyone loves playing at Wembley and they have some big-name players in their team so they will want to come here and put on a show regardless of whether they have qualified or not.

"They will be relaxed and we have to make sure we have the extra edge as we need the win to go to Brazil. We need to come out firing on Tuesday no matter what they do."

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