Fabio Capello has warned Frank Lampard and England's senior players that they are not guaranteed a place in his side.
Lampard, 33, started on the bench for England's 3-0 away win in Bulgaria on Friday, with Gareth Barry preferred.
"[Lampard] is one of the best English midfielders, but I need to choose the players, not the name," said Capello.
"The first two games he played were not good and at this moment Barry is in really good form. My players... will need to accept my decisions."
Capello felt able to cope without Lampard despite having Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere sidelined through injury.
It meant this was the first competitive match for nine years in which neither Lampard or Gerrard featured in England's starting line-up.
Barry and Scott Parker were so effective in central midfield against Bulgaria that it is hard to see Lampard earning an early recall against Wales on Tuesday though.
"It is the start of the season and he [Lampard] needs to play more games," reflected Capello.
"Frank is part of this squad. He is a professional and when he came on he was really focussed and did well."
Capello has been praised for getting his team selection spot on in Sofia, including the decision to pick Bolton's Gary Cahill ahead of the much-heralded Phil Jones of Manchester United.
"That wasn't a hard decision," said Capello. "Cahill has got some caps, he had started a match.
"In an important game, you need someone with confidence, who knows what happens in this kind of game.
"Jones is the future, but he needs time. I also chose Chris Smalling for the first time and now he understands it is different to play here.
"When you are with your team-mates, you know everything - where the ball is going, the movement of the players.
"Here it is not the same and the quality of the opponent is always really high because they are the best players in their country."
Despite the strong showing against Bulgaria, Capello has warned his players they must not be complacent against Wales.
"I respect any opponent," he said. "The Fifa ranking is one thing [Wales are ranked 117th compared to England's fourth], the pitch is another. Wales have some players who are really dangerous and others who are improving a lot.
"They just beat Montenegro [2-1 on Friday] and that is not easy. It will be a tough game."