Lamps inspired by young pretenders

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Frank Lampard has admitted that competition for places inspires him to continue his England career.

The 32-year-old Chelsea midfielder faced a lengthy spell on the sidelines this season through injury, putting his place in Fabio Capello's side in jeopardy as younger players stake their claim to represent the Three Lions.

It's these juniors who keep Lampard on his toes, with the 85-cap international up for the challenge and desperate to extend his career with England.

"When I first came into the squad I looked at Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt in midfield and thought to myself 'I'm after your shirt,' and the young ones are now saying the same about me," Lampard told the Daily Star.

"That's my challenge. It drives me on to stay in the side. It would matter to me if I wasn't in the team, I'd be a liar if I said it didn't. While I feel I can contribute I want to play. I want to fight these young players. My form is good again and Fabio Capello will always pick on merit.

"I can never imagine making the statement that I am retiring from England. When I was injured this season it was frustrating to watch from my armchair. Now I'm back I will get the right hump if I'm not picked."


Lampard is expected to start for England against Switzerland this weekend alongside Scott Parker and Jack Wilshere, and claims he's decided to 'stand-up' in a bid to claim Euro 2012 glory this summer.

"I am going to enjoy every minute that's left because when I'm not picked I will hate it. I understand how it works and I take up the challenge.

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