Frank Lampard will captain England against Denmark

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The Independent Online

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has vowed he will play for England as long as he is wanted.

The 32-year-old will captain a somewhat depleted Three Lions side in tomorrow's friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen.

With a round of international fixtures sandwiched in between two weekends of domestic football, there have been a raft of withdrawals from the squads of all the home nations, prompting talk that club now takes precedence over country.

But Lampard said: "Until the day they don't want me I will always be available for England. I will always have the appetite to contribute and do well.

"It's a short career and it's an honour to represent your country. I will always try and be there.

"If you're fit and you come here, you want to play 90 minutes against Denmark and that's the way it should always be.

"It will always be a huge honour to play for your country.

"I know from mixing in the squad how important it is to everyone.

"After the World Cup, it's very easy to say the players didn't care. Of course the players care. We just didn't win."

With regular captains Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard sidelined through injury, Lampard will lead the players out for the first time in an England shirt.

"I'm very proud," he said. "I've been in the squad quite a long time and I feel like one of the older stagers.

"It will be one of the proudest moments of my career.

"To actually walk out (as captain) is a huge deal. I've been in awe of many a player who's done that. You grow up dreaming of that moment."

Lampard is looking forward to playing alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield - and expects the impressive Arsenal youngster to shine in what will be his first start.

"I don't think he needs much help, the way he's playing," Lampard added.

"He's been fantastic for Arsenal. Some players take a while in the transition into the full team. He looks like he's got the mental attitude to fit right in.

"I'm looking forward to playing alongside him."

Lampard also praised club-mate Ashley Cole, often the target of boos from the England fans but recently voted the supporters' player of the year.

"He's quite well recognised now as our greatest ever left-back," Lampard added.

"It's great to see the England fans, once they take away some of the nonsense from outside and talk about his performances, to see him get recognised as the best player of the year."

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