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Gerrard's focus on victory

Steven Gerrard is focused solely on victory as England kick off a vital five days in their World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday.

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 07:03 Post Comment

The England captain feels talk of a goal-fest against the minnows shows a lack of respect, and taking three points at the Serrevalle Stadium is all that really matters.

It has been suggested England will use the game as a warm-up for the vital encounter with Montenegro on Tuesday but, just like manager Roy Hodgson, Gerrard was keen to deflect talk away from that and says the squad are taking their opponents seriously.

"We don't look at the game as an easy game, all the pressure is on England and we respect the opposition in San Marino," said Gerrard.

"We know they are going to make it difficult for us and try and defend really well, so it is important for us to try and play close to our top level and try to score early.

"It may become easy but we can speak about that afterwards. Before the game we show the opposition respect and we prepare really hard for this game.

"In an ideal situation we win the game comfortably and put on a show for everyone watching back home, and the 3,000 fans who have come out here to watch us, but the three points are the most important thing. We get the same out of this game as hopefully we're going to get on Tuesday night, so they are both big games.

"On Wednesday morning hopefully we'll be in the driving seat in this group, and we'll have taken control. If we take six points we can go away and enjoy the summer, as far as England games are concerned, and then we come back next season ready to go on and win the group.

"We've had a fantastic week's training, everyone's fit and available, and everyone is happy. We're all looking forward to Friday's game and we're certainly not lacking confidence on the back of the Brazil result so things are good."

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e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

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toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

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ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

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