Lampard anticipates tougher challenges ahead for England
England may have looked like a half-decent team during their 5-0 drubbing of Moldova on Friday, but Frank Lampard has warned the Three Lions qualification for the 2014 World Cup won’t remain that easy.
The midfield maestro put in a man-of-the-match performance as England put on their best display in ages to easily see off the hosts in Chisinau.
It may have only been against minnows Moldova but Roy Hodgson’s team won at a canter and that has, almost inevitably, led to the predictable cries that England have a team that can win the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
However, as good as the showing was, Lampard has reminded fans and his fellow players there is a long way to go in the qualifiers, not least starting with the home tie at Wembley against Ukraine on Tuesday.
Lampard said: “Ukraine are a quality team, they showed that in glimpses in the game during the European Championships.
“It was a pretty impressive performance and a tough match for the team even though we got the win.
“[The Ukrainians] are certainly going to come to Wembley with intentions to make it difficult for us and show what they are about, so we will have to be on top form.
“We need to rest up, prepare right and try and keep the level of performance we are producing.” A brace from Lampard along with strikes from Jermain Defoe, Leighton Baines and James Milner gave England the scoreline their industry and attacking verve deserved.
But, perhaps mindful of the old English disease of letting one win get to their heads, skipper Steven Gerrard is singing from the same hymn sheet as ‘Lamps’ and gearing up his troops for a big battle in two days’ time.
“It will be a different test on Tuesday,” Gerrard commented. “With all due respect to Moldova, Ukraine are a fantastic team as they showed in the Euros. I’m sure it will be a lot tougher test.”
However, the win over the Moldovans bodes well and that’s not lost on full-back Glen Johnson.
“It is so important to start the campaign well. We knew Moldova wasn’t going to be easy,” he said.
ROY HODGSON REVELS IN BIG WIN
Roy Hodgson is confident the 5-0 victory over Moldova confirms his belief that England can win the World Cup in two years’ time. The Three Lions looked class act in Chisinau and for the manager that means he’s every right to feel optimistic for the rest of the qualification campaign.
“The professionalism and discipline were the biggest things,” he said.“Even at the end there was no casual play. I don’t feel we made that many bad decisions. I would have been more than happy to win it 2-0 or 3-0 but generally speaking, I thought it was a thoroughly professional, thoroughly disciplined performance.”