Robson backs midfield pair

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Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson insists Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard can prosper together for the national team - but has urged Fabio Capello to deploy them in a 4-4-2 formation.

Robson, England manager between 1982 and 1990, admitted Saturday's 5-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Kazakhstan was an anti-climax following the 4-1 win in Croatia but insists the lacklustre showing at Wembley was down to the formation used and not the personnel.

"The problem was not Lampard and Gerrard, who I firmly believe can play together," Robson said in the Mail on Sunday.

The former Ipswich boss believes Capello got it right by switching to a two-man strikeforce in the second half and added: "It is imperative England go to Belarus (on Wednesday) with that positive attitude.

"I know people will say it's a more difficult fixture but there really is no need to go back to one striker or have a holding midfielder unless it's against the very, very best such as Argentina or Brazil.

"Everyone else, we should be able to win on our terms by taking that game to the opposition - like we did in Croatia.

"Playing our way means keeping faith with Lampard and Gerrard, and giving them a chance to flourish.

"Give them the option of looking up and having a choice of two strikers or two wide players to hit with a pass."

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Ipswich Town
Steven Gerrard

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