Frank Lampard’s 106th England appearance, which took him above Billy Wright and level with Bobby Charlton as his nation’s joint sixth-highest appearance maker, was a game they should have won according the captain on the day.
Lampard took the armband with Steven Gerrard beginning on the bench in a much-altered line-up against Costa Rica on Tuesday, with England already knowing the third group game would be their last at this World Cup. The 0-0 draw against a side that had won their first two games and were aiming to top the group earned England their first point. It was Lampard’s one appearance in the tournament while Gary Cahill started all the games.
‘We should have won the game as we had the chances, we played some nice stuff, in bits,’ said Lampard,’ who believed England should have had a penalty for a challenge on Daniel Sturridge.
‘I don’t think the ref gave us much but we played some bright stuff at times and we showed a bit of character. We prepared right over the last few days and everyone knows how tough it has been.
‘It was a difficult game for us to approach and we did as well as we could but it was a shame not to get the win to take home.
‘It was not hard to motivate ourselves, it was hard to know we were going to get knocked out regardless, so that was the motivation, to do something positive.
‘It was the end of a disappointing tournament, obviously.’
The 36-year-old, who is leaving Chelsea this summer, praised the backing by the England fans in Brazil but on a personal note, has yet to make a decision on representing his country in the future.
‘The fans have been an absolute credit, it is a shame we couldn’t do enough to take them through and give them a longer trip.
‘They can see the squad is young and the young players will benefit from this bad experience. We have been knocked out very early but if the fans stick with the younger players and encourage them, they will help the players.
‘I love playing for my country, I am 36 and I am still doing it, and feel fresh. If I feel I can offer something I will do but at the moment it is too soon to say.’