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Hodgson reveals Lampard role for England

ESPN staff
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The ESPN FC team discuss England's attacking options at the World Cup

Roy Hodgson has dropped his biggest hint yet that he will partner Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in England's midfield at the World Cup.

Hodgson, speaking to the FA's official website, revealed that Lampard will be vice-captain when the squad travels to Brazil for next month's showpiece.

The 35-year-old Chelsea midfielder has been capped 103 times and has been chosen over Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to deputise for skipper Gerrard.

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"Frank's been the vice-captain all along in Steven's absences, which I think has been twice," Hodgson said. "He's stepped up quite brilliantly.

"I've always thought that he was going to be a key member of this 23 because of his experience and what he brings to the team apart from pure footballing ability.

"He brings a lot of other things to us in terms of his leadership qualities and characteristics."

Turning his attention to Gerrard, Hodgson believes missing out on the Premier League title on the final day of the season will spur the Liverpool midfielder on to glory with England.

"He's had to swallow the disappointment of the last few weeks when he was close and had it taken away, and now he's got the World Cup," Hodgson said.

"He's got to get over that disappointment and get his World Cup head on and I know he will.

"He's very strong mentally. He cares desperately about Liverpool. But fortunately for me he cares equally desperately about England. So his mindset when it comes to England will be spot on.

"That's not to say that he won't retain a bit of disappointment that Liverpool came second and not first, he will because he's a human being.

"But I have great confidence in him that he won't take any negative thoughts into the tournament with us."

England will play friendlies against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras before beginning their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14.

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