Frank Lampard is looking forward to starting his “perfect challenge” at New York City this weekend, a year after signing for the Major League Soccer side.
The former England international is set to make his NYCFC debut this Sunday against Toronto FC, and hopes to put to rest questions about his commitment to the club and long-term fitness.
“I think it’s a perfect challenge for me at this part of my career,” Lampard said on Tuesday at a news conference.
“That’s why the decision to come here was an easy one, relatively. I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think I had a lot left in me in terms of fitness, in terms of freshness.
“I’ve always had a huge desire to win throughout my career and I’ve been fortunate to do that, but my challenge is to show people that I’m here to win and play well as regularly as I can.”
The 37-year-old will slot into the midfield of an NYCFC team that has played well of late, winning four of its last five matches.
That represents a strong recovery from a start that saw the club go winless in 11 games while Lampard wrapped up his final Premier League campaign with Manchester City.
That only heightened the ire of some of the club’s supporters toward Lampard, who had originally been set to leave City in time for NYCFC’s first-ever match in March.
When asked if he felt he owed a debt to New York fans, Lampard brushed the question aside.
“If anyone feels there’s a debt, I’ll try and answer everything on the pitch,” he said.
“That’s what I’ve done all my career. I’m a pretty straight person, I think. I work very hard, I try and do my best, and if that can bring success, if I can help the team win, none of us will have debts to pay. We’ll all be happy.”