England to get stuck into Paraguay, says Lampard
BADEN BADEN, Germany, June 7 (Reuters) England will aim to stamp their authority on Paraguay with a physical brand of attacking football in their World Cup opener on Saturday, says midfielder Frank Lampard.
Lampard, driven by his failure to make the 2002 World Cup squad, is looking to get stuck in and make the most of these finals when the two Group B sides meet in Frankfurt.
Having struggled to beat Argentina and Uruguay since qualifying, Lampard believes England need to hit Paraguay with some Premier League pace and pressure.
''The way to stamp our authority is to play our own game,'' he told reporters today.
''Teams in the World Cup, especially South American teams, might find it hard to deal with an English-type game that we play better than anyone else -- with a lot of pressure, playing to our attacking instincts and working hard.
''Even if it means being a bit physical. That's the way we play.
I think we need to make sure we concentrate on our game and play the way we can.'' The fixture list has added extra spice to England's opener. With modest Trinidad&Tobago next up, a victory on Saturday would be a big step towards the second round.
Failure to win could leave England in just the situation they are anxious to avoid -- needing to beat Sweden in their final game on June 20, Lampard's 28th birthday.
''Obviously, we want to be determined to start in a good way that doesn't put too much pressure on ourselves in the next two games,'' Lampard said.
''If we can get a positive result in the first game, that would send us into the Trinidad and Tobago game with great confidence. If it wasn't so positive, obviously we'd feel under more pressure.'' PERSONAL AGENDA Lampard also has a personal agenda in Germany, having spent the last World Cup on holiday in the United States. Now he is considered a key figure in England's campaign.
''It is a big difference and a long journey in four years,'' he said, having since played a leading role in winning two consecutive league titles with Chelsea.
''But it's where I wanted to be. When I was sat there watching those games I wanted to be there, I was desperate to be an important player in the team. Hopefully, now I can prove that.'' At least this time he will be awake, having nodded off during England's 1-0 win over Argentina in Japan due to jet-lag. He had to ring home to find out the result.
''It wasn't that the game was boring...I was desperately trying to stay up,'' Lampard said. ''But I managed to fall sleep at the end.
''I'd put a bit of distance between myself and the World Cup, not in a bad way, I just got away... But I was happy with the result.'' REUTERS, DH BST213