Gerrard: We’re desperate to qualify
Steven Gerrard insists he and his England teammates do not fear the challenge of trying to secure qualification for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Three Lions currently sit two points behind first-place Montenegro in Group H following last month’s 1-1 draw in Podgorica.
It means England could face the prospect of a two-legged play-off to seal a place at the finals should they fail to overhaul that deficit before the conclusion of the group stages.
Gerrard told reporters: “It’s daunting if you fear the challenge and start worrying and concern yourself with not qualifying; it is daunting, there’s no getting away from it.
“It is a huge year for the FA, the 150-year anniversary and what they’re doing for the game and putting back in.
“But in amongst that we’ve got a really big challenge ahead of us, and that’s to qualify for probably the biggest World Cup that there’s going to be.
“There’s no bigger place than Brazil to have a World Cup except England for us players, so we want to be there and we’re desperate to be there and we’ll keep fighting all the way to the end.”
England are unbeaten in six matches, though by the captain’s own admission, were not at their best in Montenegro as they clinched a 1-1 draw.
Asked if he felt that result suggested the Three Lions were slipping back, Gerrard replied: “I wouldn’t say so. I think 10, 15 years ago if you’d said to me that Spain were going to win three major tournaments in a row I wouldn’t have believed you because they were struggling to get past the last eight of tournaments.
“I think the countries in and around the big nations are all growing, they’re all getting stronger and improving. They’re putting a lot of money into the national game and every country is improving.
“I’ve said many times at this level there are no easy games. We beat San Marino 8-0 but you know those games can be tough and tricky, as we’ve seen against Andorra a few years ago.
“Still, we’ve got to take the criticism when it comes along and we don’t perform as well as we should against these teams. We accept that.”
Gerrard continued: “When we look back on the campaign, hopefully when we become group winners, we can look back and say this was a very good point.
“I was a bit surprised by the reaction to that game because it was built up as a very tough away game. The bit of stick we’ve had since that result surprised me a bit.
“It was slightly harsh because of the build up, all the questions I answered were ‘this team’s tough, they’ve got world-class players, the atmosphere is going to be intimidating…do you realise how tough this game is going to be?’.”
source : liverpoolfc.com