Lampard backs England to deliver in South Africa

LONDON: Frank Lampard believes England are finally ready to deliver at the World Cup thanks to Fabio Capello.

After failing to qualify for Euro 2008, England are firmly on course for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Capello's team have won all seven of their Group Six matches and Lampard admits the transformation is down to the England coach's ability to make his players believe in themselves.

"In terms of England, I've never experienced a time when I have gone into matches feeling as confident as I do now,"Chelsea midfielder Lampard told the Sun.

"The contrast with before is stark. Before, we felt we would probably lose or drop points and it gives you a really good sensation going into the season to feel so optimistic about the challenges ahead with club and country.

"I'm wary of falling into the trap where people ask if you can win it, you say you can, and then expectations rise.

"Of course we can win it, though. We are playing as well as we have done for a long time and there is a real confidence and togetherness about the group."

England's only previous World Cup success came in 1966 and they haven't even reached the semi-finals since 1990.

But Lampard expects England to be a much tougher proposition for opponents now Capello has helped them develop a more ruthless streak.

"One of the things we needed in English football was to learn the importance of being a difficult team to beat," Lampard said. "That is the foundation stone and you build everything else on top."