Steven Gerrard is sure England will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Sky
England came under criticism following the goalless draw in Ukraine on Tuesday for what some onlookers felt was an uninspiring performance, but the point did confirm the Three Lions as group leaders and ensured their fate was in their hands as the group neared its climax.
Gerrard played the full 90 minutes in Kiev – and the 90 minutes against Moldova on Friday, when England won 4-0, scoring the opening goal – and while the Liverpool skipper accepts there was a lack of potency in England’s performance, he is not concerned considering the injury problems with which Hodgson had to cope.
“I think we lacked a little bit of a cutting edge in the final third, but that isn’t a worry because there are some big players missing for England at the moment,” the captain said. “If we can get (Wayne) Rooney and (Daniel) Sturridge fit they will be two big players for us, and they are the type of players you will need to break down the two teams we are coming up against.”
England end their campaign by playing Montenegro and Poland at Wembley and the team’s home record provides Gerrard with comfort, while the midfielder feels that if England take the good from drawing with Ukraine, they will be in a position to enter a strong performance. “Our record is quite good at Wembley,” said Gerrard.
“We proved that by beating Brazil there so if we defend as we did against Ukraine and have a little bit more of that cutting edge in the final third, we will get there. I am really confident we can get the job done.”
And despite the criticism England received for their display in Ukraine, Gerrard stressed the positives were many. “Two clean sheets in four days answers a lot of critics,” he said. “I thought Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill were brilliant, and you have to add Ashley Cole and Kyle Walker in to that. I thought Ash was unbelievable.
“Every big game I have played with Ashley Cole he has stood up and been terrific. He and Kyle Walker kept their two danger men quiet. Joe (Hart) did everything needed of him and I am sure these two clean sheets will do wonders for his confidence.”
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