England midfielder Frank Lampard wants to prove critics who think he does not belong in the side wrong, following intense speculation concerning whether or not he has a future in the national team.
The 33-year-old was not picked to start against Bulgaria though he did figure from the off in the victory over Wales at Wembley, but a subdued performance in an underwhelming team display has led to even more discussion about his role in the set-up.
However, he insists that nothing will give him greater satisfaction than to prove his naysayers wrong.
"I’ve been here before," Lampard said, according to The Mirror.
"I’ve had slow starts to seasons when I was 25-26, I had a World Cup which didn’t go well. I wasn’t told I was old then, I was just told I was crap!
"That is just the game. I honestly don’t mind. When I was 25, I probably would have had a different reaction to it all.
"Once you’ve been around the block a little bit, you understand how things are and my main aim is to play for Chelsea week in and week out.
"People can talk about my age for as long as they like. There is nothing better in football than proving people wrong and I’ll try and do that for as long as I can."
The former West Ham United man also revealed that he would like to reach 100 caps, as he currently sits on 88 appearances for England.
But for now, he intends to play regularly with Chelsea and improve his form.
He said: "But no excuses. I’m going to hopefully be on top form very soon. We’ve only played three games. I’ve not flown out of the blocks, I don’t think Chelsea have as a group.
"I’d love to get to 100 caps but it’s not something I’m going to hang around and be trying to do if it’s not there. I’ll just be proud to play for as long as I can."
England currently need only a point from their final game to secure qualification to the European Championships that will take place in Poland and Ukraine next year.