'I feel on top of my game', insists Lampard

November 19, 2007

Frank Lampard believes he is in some of the best form of his career as he called on England to make the most of their Euro 2008 lifeline.

The Chelsea midfielder has endured a difficult few months and had a spell when he was target for disgruntled England fans.

Then Lampard lost his place through injury and the form of Gareth Barry for the four autumn qualifiers with Russia, Israel and Estonia.

But Lampard earned a recall to the side for the friendly international with Austria in Vienna on Friday and believes Steve McClaren's assessment that he is on top of his game again is justified.

Lampard said: 'I hear the manager has said I am in some of the best form of my career - and I would agree with that. I feel on top of my game.

'In the period between the England game with Russia and the one in Austria, over the last four or five weeks, I have felt very strong.

'Maybe what has contributed is that I came back very fresh from my time off because of injury.

'I had several frustrating weeks on the side-lines and came back when I was fit and available raring to go. I feel fresh because of that and sharp.'

Lampard is confident England's knack of performing at their best when the stakes are highest will ensure there are no slip-ups agaiinst Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

McClaren's side now need only to avoid defeat against Croatia to book their place in Austria and Switzerland after Russia's shock reversal against Israel in Tel Aviv.

Lampard said: 'Now things are back into our hands in terms of qualifying there is a fantastic feeling in the squad.

'Since I've been involved in the squad when there's been a big game on which qualification hinges, like in Turkey a few years ago, we've managed to get the right result.

'We've performed better in the bigger games, especially the ones to qualify for major championships and we can do it again against Croatia.

'We can beat Croatia. We know we have got the ability in the team to do it. The fact have got a chance to go through on Wednesday night will be a massive lift to the players.'