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Lampard impressed by ex-Saint Chamberlain
10:43am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Saints News
Frank Lampard has revealed the lack of fear shown by rising stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley on the England stage compared to when he launched his international career.
The Chelsea midfielder admires the free-spirited approach of ex-Saints starlet Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hampshire-born Cleverley, who both impressed during Friday's 5-0 away win over Moldova in a World Cup qualifier.
Lampard believes there is a freshness surrounding the squad thanks to young blood being mixed with the core of experienced players as England prepare for tonight’s qualifier with Ukraine at Wembley.
The 34-year-old said: "I think we have a crop of players now who play with less fear than we did when we came through.
"Even though Tom Cleverley has not played many games, the games he has played are with Manchester United in the Champions League and Team GB at the Olympics .
"It means players such as Tom and Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain) are much more capable or arriving on the scene at such a young age.
"The good thing about those two is they are good players but they take it all in very easily and don't seem fazed at all. They are very confident without being bullish or arrogant about it.
"The young players always give that free spirited attitude which is nice as well.
"When you have been there a long time...cynical is not the right word, but you know the ups and downs of it. These boys are playing for fun."
Lampard is back at the forefront of England's plans and happy to pass on advice to the emerging talent.
He said: "I do have little words when I can, like with Oxlade-Chamberlain, particularly in the build-up to a game.
"In the warm-up on the pitch the other night in Moldova, you'd say things to them and I would happily sit and talk at dinner about the ups and downs and the good and bad sides of playing for England."
Lampard still feels great pride in playing for England and his father was a key figure in ensuring the Chelsea player never quit his country when public enemy number one with supporters.
He endured a spell when booed when his name was read out by the Wembley announcer, or whenever he touched the ball.
Lampard said: "I am very proud of my England career. With England careers, they can't always be rosy for any player especially if you are going to get towards 100 caps.
"I am pleased I didn't bail out when I was getting stick because there can be easy routes particularly when you get to 30. You are allowed to retire from that age onwards.
"My dad has always been a quiet advocate of playing for your country and the fact you are a long time retired, that while you feel you can contribute, do it.
"Even in those tough times, when I had a tough game, or was getting stick, my dad was adamant on me staying in the game because we are so privileged to be here."