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Redknapp hails Lampard attitude

Jamie Redknapp has hailed the hard work and attitude of Frank Lampard as the Chelsea star prepares to win his 100th England cap.

Last Updated: 10/09/13 at 08:13 Post Comment

Frank Lampard: set to make 100th England appearance on Tuesday night

Frank Lampard: set to make 100th England appearance on Tuesday night

Lampard looks set to reach the milestone in Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, and the 35-year-old's cousin and former international team-mate Jamie Redknapp believes his success is fully deserved.

Redknapp told Sky Sports: "He deserves all the success he gets because he's such a great role model for young footballers.

"Young footballers nowadays are so quick to leave their training grounds and seem to be more worried about the trimmings of what football brings them - the money and the cars - rather than the hard work.

"Frank is a great example of how far graft can take you. He wasn't an England schoolboy superstar and he wasn't one of the players who really stood out at that age - but what he had was a big appetite for hard work.

"His dad was always very fierce with him and made him train hard. My dad played with Frank Sr and said he used to do a huge amount of training on his own after the regular sessions; doing sprints and shuttle runs when everyone else was long gone. That's something that he put into his son's game as well.

"Frank went to Chelsea at a great time in his career and has often said that Claudio Ranieri helped to change his mindset and turned him into a real all-round professional. Then Jose Mourinho arrived and also helped to bring his game on.

"I remember when my dad was at West Ham and a lot of the fans didn't think he was good enough to be playing. He got a lot of stick - and still does when he goes back to Upton Park - but I bet a lot of them wish he was playing for them now!

"He's had stick from England fans over the years as well, but he's not the only player that's happened to. It's happened to David Beckham and it even happened to John Barnes, who was one of the best players I've ever played with.

"Frank came through that and has scored 29 goals for his country and I think he will now be remembered as a great England player. People who score goals from midfield - which is something he's done throughout his career - are worth their weight in gold."

Redknapp believes Lampard will have a crucial role to play in Ukraine but worries about the lack of pace in the team likely to be chosen by Roy Hodgson.

"I think Frank will have a big role to play against Ukraine because Roy Hodgson will be looking to fill up the midfield," Redknapp added.

"The England manager has always been very good at making teams hard to beat and this sort of fixture will turn him on. He's made his name getting 0-0 or 1-1 draws when he needs them and one of the reasons he didn't make it at Liverpool is because they want to see an attacking brand of football.

"Hodgson knows the value of a draw on Tuesday night and he will set his team up accordingly - but that can be dangerous as well.

"He needs to leave players on the pitch who can win the game because if we sit back too much we'll be asking for trouble against a young, pacy, confident Ukrainian side who know each other well because so many of them play together for FC Dnipro.

"It's really important that we leave an attacking threat on the field and I'd be amazed if the in-form Rickie Lambert doesn't start. He must keep hold of the ball well in this match because we'll be under pressure and it's vital the ball doesn't bounce back when we go forward.

"Lambert must make the ball stick and bring the likes of Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere into play. I think James Milner will probably play in one of the wide areas, but I'd like to see some real pace out there to cause them problems and occupy the full-backs.

"A draw would be a great result for us because if we can take a point and win our final two games at Wembley then we'll win the group. I think it will be a tight and nervy game, but I fancy us to draw 1-1.

"And with the way that he plays and the way his career has gone, it wouldn't surprise me if Frank was to pop up and score a vital free-kick or penalty at some stage on his 100th appearance!"

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