Preparations hot up as Lampard gets set to lead England

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Frank Lampard will captain England against Ecuador tonight in the penultimate friendly before the World Cup.

It caps off a big few days for Lampard, who confirmed on Monday he will be leaving Chelsea this summer.

“I’m proud to be captain tomorrow and looking forward to the game,” he said.

With Roy Hodgson’s squad having to adapt to the heat and humidity in Miami, Lampard has highlighted the importance of the game ahead of the World Cup opener against Italy in the sweltering heat of Manaus.

“Certainly the humidity can suck a bit out of your legs but I do feel the acclimatisation plans do help and it’s up to us as individuals and a team to get to the stage were we can deal with it,” he added.

“There are no excuses. We’re playing Italy and it’s no different for them, they will have to get used to the conditions and we’ll have to do the same.”

Hodgson acknowledged the threat posed by Ecuador, but stressed that his main focus is on what his own side are doing instead of worrying too much about the opposition.

“We think that Ecuador can make life difficult for us because they have qualified for a World Cup so we have enormous respect for them, but where it comes to individuals our main priority is making sure our own game is satisfactory.”

The England manager swerved questions about what he thought would represent a successful World Cup for his side, suggesting all they are thinking about is doing as well as they possibly can.

Despite the emergence of exciting players such as Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Daniel Sturridge raising expectation levels, Hodgson is refusing to get carried away.

“We’re trying to focus hard on what it is possible for us to do, what we can do well and not get too hung up on the outcome,” he said. “ If we play well then we think our players, if they play to the best of their abilities, and we get some luck, which everyone needs, then we can have a very good World Cup.”

“We will focus on the things we can control. Who knows if we will have a good World Cup or bad one?

“But we will make sure we take every measure possible to help us have a good World Cup.”

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