The Chelsea ace admits he is frustrated by the constant questioning of why Sven Goran Eriksson's preferred central quartet set-up fails to get the best out of either him or the Liverpool skipper.

Lampard and Gerrard will again form the vital midfield axis against Hungary tomorrow as Eriksson plays the team he intends to start the World Cup against Paraguay in Frankfurt on June 10.

While England fans still wait for evidence Lampard and Gerrard can both fire together, as Mirror Sport reveals today, Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon believes the pairing gives Eriksson the best midfield in the World Cup.

And while Lampard conceded he wished doubts would go away, he accepts it is down to he and Gerrard to prove they can combine to get the most out of their talents.

"We believe we can play together. I don't know how the manager is going to put us together, whether it be as a two, part of a three, or one more forward than the other but I think we are both experienced enough and we do want to get the best out of each other.

"I think our real strengths are going forward and making and scoring goals. But we are also capable of doing a lot of work in the middle of the park defensively. I always try to do that, whoever I'm playing for.

"The pair of us are going to work hard in training over the next few weeks to work on getting the best out of each other. If Wayne Rooney isn't fit it might give both of us the opportunity to push up. It really does depend on how we play. A holding midfielder would give us the insurance to get forward. But it's up to the manager to decide."

Eriksson may still make that change, with Michael Carrick holding and Gerrard the most likely of the two to be given the advanced role, whether playing as the second striker instead of Peter Crouch or with Joe Cole the sacrificial offering.

For now, though, Plan A is a flat midfield four, with Gerrard and Lampard taking turns to bomb on and Eriksson hoping they can develop a natural understanding. Both Lampard and Gerrard watched the 2002 World Cup from afar, with the Chelsea man left out and the Liverpool player injured.

This time round, they are key elements and Lampard added: "It would be a great time to peak, in a World Cup and I think the squad in general has a lot of players at or close to their peak.

"We have experience of one or two big championships but we're not too old and if this group of players is going to do something, there is no better time than now.

And while Lampard is a World Cup novice, he believes that with his outstanding performances in three Champions League campaigns he has already proved himself at a higher level than he will face in Germany.

"International football is more possession-based and you sometimes play against teams with players you think wouldn't get in our team, but when you play against them they are very tough to perform against.

"When we played Portugal in Euro 2004 it was a very taxing game, mentally and physically. But it wasn't that different to playing Barcelona. Games like that are played to the same high level."

"It was nice to start training again. It was great meeting up with the squad, putting on an England training kit and preparing for a tournament.

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