England captain Gerrard admits concern over World Cup qualification

Steven Gerrard has admitted that England face an uncertain future in their attempt to qualify for the World Cup, with the Liverpool midfielder insisting that they must win their group and not rely on making the play-offs, the Guardian has reported.

England are currently second in Group H, two points behind Montenegro, with the two teams scheduled to meet on March 26 in Montenegro. Only the group winners qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, England’s opponents in a showpiece friendly on Wednesday evening.

Gerrard said: “I’m certainly not underestimating where we are and how much there is to do. I think there is still a lot of hard work to do, that’s for sure. We don’t want to end up in the play-offs.

To play Brazil at Wembley is fantastic but there is a little bit in the mind that is already just waiting for the Montenegro game. It is going to be the key game, there is no getting away from that. You can’t help but think about it.

Gerrard, who was named England’s player of the year on Sunday, added that if manager Roy Hodgson is able to call upon his best squad – without the common problem of injuries robbing him of important players – then he is confident England will get the result they need against Montenegro.

England’s last competitive international came against Poland in Warsaw, when Wayne Rooney scored to give the Three Lions the lead but Kamil Gilk equalised with 20 minutes to play after an error by Joe Hart.

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